In a change from my regular format of posting a devo each Sunday I’m posting a story about a local church in my area that I wrote for the Bluffton News-Banner with permission of the editor.
Each week for the past year I’ve been blessed to interview a different pastor in my county. The stories with photos are published each Friday. Believe it or not, our county, which is mostly rural, has 65 churches!
Each church has gifts and strengths and God’s blessing. There are so many opportunities for each to minister to people in need. What can you do to help your church’s mission today?
Liberty Center Baptist Church
Where is God leading us? Are we ready for it? How much do we care about people who don’t know Jesus Christ?
These questions are some that Pastor Aaron Westfall
of Liberty Center Baptist Church has asked himself and his congregation in recent months.
“We want to look at the health of our church. through prayer and seeking the Lord’s will,” he said. “We want to go from surviving to thriving and keep our eyes focused on the vision. It’s exciting to get people to trust each other to walk together.”
Westfall grew up in Liberty Center with his mother and brother. He attended church with his grandparents. After graduating from Southern Wells High School, Westfall attended Indiana Wesleyan University where he majored in Christian Ministries. “As a teen, I felt God calling me into ministry,” he said. He was licensed as a pastor in early 2011.
In October 2011, while working full time at Wayne Metals in Markle, Westfall accepted the position as pastor at Liberty Center Baptist Church.
Although he is considered part-time, Westfall’s duties include preaching each Sunday, leading Wednesday night Bible Study and church meetings, and visiting members of the congregation in need. He is the only paid staff member at the church.
Aaron and his wife Laura Westfall work as a team in caring for their three children, ages elementary and teen, and church responsibilities.
“My main concern as a pastor is to keep my priorities in line,” he said. “God is No.1, but my family has to be my focus.”
At the same time he places an emphasis on creating a welcoming atmosphere at the church. “Our vision as a congregation is to be a place where people matter and lives are changed,” he said.
To facilitate this mission he is developing leadership within the church of 70 regular attendees. “I can’t do it all,” he said. “I know everyone here wants to reach out and share their Christian faith.”
In addition to taking communion to shut-ins and praying with people, Westfall and his church have helped members of the community with food needs and Christmas presents. On Sundays the church offers special classes on relevant topics, such as parenting. During Easter week 2013, the church plans to host a Passover service that will be open to the public.
One area in the church Westfall hopes to address in 2013 is the church’s youth ministry. “We have a lot of kids in our community who could use a loving, Christian place,” he said.
Westfall has seen some growth since he’s tenure at the church. Attendance then was 45 and there have been five baptisms.
“I believe my family was led to Liberty Center Baptist Church,” said Westfall. “It’s nice to be in a place where we can use our talents to serve God.”
Sunday School: 9:10
Fellowship time with donuts & coffee: 9:45
Sunday worship: 10:15
Classes for kids and Youth are available.
3071 W Cherry Street
Liberty Center IN 46766