From the Pulpit: Fifty years and counting

Sunday, November 22, 2009
KIT DOYLE ~ kdoyle@semissourian.com

Lynwood Baptist Church in Cape Girardeau continues celebrating its 50th anniversary today. The church will "celebrate God's faithfulness over these past 50 years with a special celebration" the Rev. Mark Anderson said.

Anderson said Saturday's festivities celebrated the past "with [today] looking to the future."

Lynwood was founded Nov. 22, 1959, with 27 charter members and called Third Baptist Church. In 1965, it was given aid by First Baptist Church to overcome financial problems and in 1972, 333 members re-established the church as Lynwood Baptist Church. The church will welcome guest speakers from the mayor's office and the Missouri Baptist Convention for today's services at 9 and 10:30 a.m. Anderson's sermon will focus on the next 50 years.

Anderson, whose father was also a Baptist pastor, came to Cape Girardeau to serve Lynwood from 1994 to 2000 and returned to the church in July 2008.

How long have you been involved with a church? All my life.

Lynwood Baptist pastor Mark Anderson. (Kit Doyle)

How long have you been a member of the Baptist faith? Since I was 8 years old. My father was a Baptist pastor.

What drew you to serve the church in a leadership role? I was at a camp at age 12. I felt God wanting me to serve him. I told my dad, and he said to continue to pray about it and see what happens. That conviction continued to grow through high school and college. Although my father was a pastor, he never encouraged me to be a minister. He wanted that to strictly be my decision. I am confident it is.

What education/background/studies did you go through to become a pastor? I majored in religion at college and earned a master of divinity degree with an emphasis in Hebrew and Greek in seminary.

Where are you from? When and why did you move to Cape Girardeau? I am from Texas. I moved to Cape because I believed this is where God wanted me to serve him. My family have thoroughly enjoyed the area and Lynwood.

What do you think makes this church special? The people! I love them and am very privileged to serve as their pastor. I also believe God desires to use Lynwood to help others know him in Cape and the surrounding area. I think we have a unique opportunity and responsibility with that mission.

What's your favorite verse and why? Romans 8:28, "We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose." My mother gave me this verse years ago after a disappointment in my life. It has always stuck with me and given me great perspective about God working in all things for my ultimate good and his glory.

What program have you done with Lynwood that you are proud of and why? There are several, but Judgement House comes to my mind first. This is a dramatic presentation of the reality of eternity and the truth of God's love for us. I'm amazed how many people come each year and how many become followers of Jesus Christ. I'm also amazed at how many of our people volunteer volumes of hours to share God's love.

What other special events does Lynwood have coming up? Upward Basketball, Children's Christmas presentations Dec. 5 to 6 and our adult Christmas Music Dec. 13.

What's your favorite day of the week and why? Sunday. I love coming together with God's people to worship him, and I love sharing God's truth.

What's your favorite part of being a pastor? That's a tough question. I love the variety of the ministry. I enjoy preaching, but I also enjoy personally helping others in their journey of faith.

What hobbies do you have? Running marathons, hunting, fishing, family.

What else do you do besides serve as pastor? Spend time with my family.

Do you have a prayer, psalm or verse you would like to give our readers for the day?

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."

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