Lindsay Lane Baptist Church was started in 1988 with 63 members, Phil Daws as Pastor and a vision for reaching people for Christ. The next few years brought many changes. Earl Trent served as interim pastor for a short time. Phillip Schrimsher served as pastor from September 1990 to October 1991. Brother Trent was called again to serve as interim pastor.
By early 1992 membership had declined to 32. On April 26, 1992 Dusty McLemore was called to serve as bi-vocational pastor and was officially ordained on May 3. Bradley Griggs came as bi-vocational Minister of Music in June 1992. Membership grew and the goal of 92 in ’92 was reached for Sunday School attendance. Because the church was growing, an education building with a fellowship hall was built in 1993. Jeff Bowman became the part-time Youth Minister to accommodate the growth of Students. In 1994 church membership increased to 200 and a full-time pastor was needed. God paved the way for Pastor Dusty to become full-time on September 9. The church went to a full worship service on Wednesday evenings and Equipping the Saints classes on Sunday evenings.
Church membership continued to increase so much that it became necessary to go to two Sunday morning worship services in 1995. On March 1, Sonny Schofield was called as part-time Minister of Education. A new sanctuary was built and dedicated on October 13, 1996 and the church worshiped in one Sunday morning service, but not for long. Approximately six months later, this ever growing church was back in two Sunday morning worship services.
In 1997 Dee Lauderdale was called as Associate Pastor. Growth required the addition of two buildings. The first was a 7400 sq-ft education building with ten classrooms for the nursery and preschool, staff offices and a larger choir room. The second was a 7700 sq-ft Family Life Center containing a basketball court, full kitchen and a room upstairs for the youth.
By 1999 the church had over 600 members. Rod Carroll was called as Youth Minister, part-time at first, but full-time by year’s end. Bro. Sonny became full-time Minister of Education & Outreach. The first steps toward opening a school were taken by initiating a Mom’s Morning Out Program with Dena Bowman as Director. By Fall the church had grown to over 800 members. This made it necessary to have two Sunday School times in addition to the two worship services. Bro. Dee left in December 2000 to start a new church plant.
In January 2001 Bro. Bob White was added to the staff as volunteer Minister to Senior Adults. In the fall Bro. Bradley became the full-time Minister of Administration & Music. Construction of a new sanctuary began under “Challenge to Obey” where we were depending fully on the Lord Jesus Christ to supply all that was needed. The Mission Statement was updated to “Growing Christ’s Church through preaching the Word, teaching the Way and reaching the World”. The church claimed Luke 14:27 as it’s official Scripture and “Bearing the Cross” Ministries was established.
At the beginning of 2002 our newsletter, These Exciting Times, began to be issued monthly. Bro. Randy Brown was called in June to the position of full-time Minister of Assimilation, Pastoral Care & Outreach. The following month, Bro. Bob became part-time Minister to Senior Adults. The new 1800-seat sanctuary was completed and the first service was held on December 1 with Dr. Johnny Hunt as our special guest speaker. Membership by year’s end had reached 1200!
In 2003 we began the renovation of the old sanctuary into a two-story educational facility and a choir suite. Mom’s Morning Out expanded to include a 4-year-old, five-day-a-week Kindergarten class. The Lindsay Lane Christian Academy was established as a home school umbrella program for church members and a Survey Team was formed to canvass the community and congregation on the feasibility of starting a Christian school. Lindsay Lane experienced its greatest year of numerical growth with 140 baptisms and 169 joined by letter or statement. Membership had risen to over 1400.
We shared our wonderful facilities by hosting several events in 2003: The Sanctity of Life Service with guest speaker David Ring in January; Metamorphosis Youth Crusade in February; New Song’s Easter Tour in April; Experiencing God the Musical in May; North Alabama Regional Sunday School Leader Conference in August; Global Focus in September; Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Purpose Campaign in October; Equipped to Endure Men’s Conference with Dr. Johnny Hunt in November and the musical How Do You Worship A King? was presented by the Celebration Choir in December.
The year 2004 was another exciting year of growth. The congregation had grown to over 1600 members. New Ministries developed such as the Angel Food Ministry; the Biker’s Ministry; Living Water Ministry and Managing God’s Money. Lindsay Lane expanded its borders in the Mission field by sending out three pastors to various churches in Tennessee: Brent & Kara Hawkins to Oak Grove; Jason & Michele Moore to New Grove; and Derrick & Elizabeth Moose to Cash Point. This was a year for international mission trips: Dinon, France; Barquismeto, Venezuela; and Johannesburg, South Africa. Bradley Griggs became Church Administrator while Rod Carroll and Eddie Lenz are serving as Interim Music Ministers. IV Marsh was added as interim Student Pastor.
2005 proved to be a growth year. The church selected Rod Carroll as Worship Leader, Eddie Lenz as Choir Director and IV Marsh as Student & Recreation Minister. The church adopted a Master Plan for future growth which included a New Preschool/Children facility to be erected in 2006. This first phase of the Master Plan would enable the church to pursue its Vision of a Christian Academy. It is evident that God’s hand is powerfully upon this great church. By year end, a “Make A Difference” Campaign to fund the new facility was under way. It is a “Winnable War”.
It was a year of changes in 2006. Bro. Bob White retired as the Pastor to Senior Adults and IV Marsh to become the youth pastor at newly formed Grace Point Baptist in North Las Vegas, NV. The grade structure was changed for the Students when we hired Matt Stockman as the Youth Minister to the 6-8th grades and John Holland stepped up as interim Youth Minister to the 9-12th grades. The search began for two Pastors: Worship and Students. Eric Pugh was welcomed as the new Associate Pastor to Missions, Senior Adults and Discipleship. We hosted our first Global Impact Celebration and four mission trips on foreign soil were made. Membership was reported to the Limestone Baptist Association as of August 31 of 1634 with 123 baptisms and 107 people joining by letter or statement. The “Make A Difference” Campaign is in place to fund the $5.6 million Preschool/Children’s Building.
At the beginning of 2007, Nathan Dewberry was called as Student Pastor and we broke ground on the Preschool/Children’s building. The quote “If you build it, they will come.” became an understatement. We had to move Adult Sunday School classes to the Family Life Center. On Sunday nights, there are not enough rooms for all the AWANA groups to meet in so they gathered in the hallways. We reached the $1 million mark in giving toward the “Make A Difference” Campaign. By year end, membership was at 1800. We changed our logo and mission statement to ““Making Disciples who Worship, Grow and Serve”.
The year 2008 looked to be an exciting year with 20 mission trips planned and the completion of a new Preschool/Children’s Building!
On September 7, 2008, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary with a good-old fashion Homecoming. God has tremendously blessed Lindsay Lane Baptist Church. As we depend on Him and act out of obedience, we will continue to grow in number and in Christ-like maturity. Only God knows how many more members we will have and how many more buildings we will build. There are no limits to what God will do and how He will bless when He is in control! (Jeremiah 33:3)
2008 was a time of much celebration for all God has done in and through Lindsay Lane Baptist Church. In August 2008, Lindsay Lane welcomed Dwaine Stroud and his family with his answer to the call of full time Minister of Music and Worship. Dwaine and his family were new to the Athens area, moving here from South Carolina.
On August 10, 2008 part of the Lindsay Lane vision became sight with the completion and opening of our Preschool/Children’s Building under the supervision of Executive Pastor, Bradley Griggs. Lindsay Lane celebrated its 20th Anniversary on September 7, 2008, looking back on what our awesome God has done in such a brief period of time!
With our children in their new beautiful space, the way was clear for the remodeling of the former children’s area to a new updated Student Worship Center and Sunday school rooms. This opened in February 2009.
With much prayer and the blessing of additional space, Lindsay Lane Christian Academy opened its doors for classes on August 10, 2009. Lori Edgemon was selected as the first principal of the academy with a total of 39 students and 4 full time teachers in kindergarten through sixth grades. In 2011 the church acquired the two campuses of Faith Christian Academy, a long established Christian school in the area. In a cooperative effort with FCA’s leadership team, LLCA expanded its educational services to include K3 through 12th grade. In the 2011-2012 academic year, enrollment increased to over 300 students and the academy received full ACSI and SACS accreditations. LLCA celebrated with its first high school graduating class in May 2012 which included 12 seniors.
Today, Lindsay Lane Baptist Church is continuing its vision of “MAKING DISCIPLES WHO WORSHIP, GROW, AND SERVE”!