Tallassee’s Elam Baptist sees growth, ‘new focus’ comment (0)
September 5, 2013
By Neisha Fuson
For Elam Baptist Church, Tallassee, the recent return of Gene Bridgman as pastor has brought church growth and a “new focus.”
Bridgman served as the Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association church’s minister of youth and education from 2002 to 2008 and was ordained in 2008. He served as pastor of Eastside Baptist Church, Union Springs, 2008–2012 until Elam Baptist called him back to serve as pastor in August 2012.
In just a year, Sunday School attendance has nearly tripled, the children’s department has grown significantly and worship attendance averages above 100. But that is not because of one man, Bridgman said.
Several devoted members of the church have worked hard to keep the church alive, he said, even while without a pastor for two years.
“Teresa Gandy held the children’s department together” while there was no leadership in the church and it was facing the difficult decision of whether to close the doors or stay open, Bridgman said.
Now Elam Baptist is in a “rebuilding process.”
“It is one building block at a time,” said Bridgman, who noted that the “first priority” is the children’s department.
More than 20 children are now a part of the children’s department that has been organized into different classes to better reach each age group, Bridgman explained. Beth Baldwin recently became the children’s department administrator and members are volunteering their time to teach Sunday School classes and be a part of the new children’s church, Kids in Christ.
“We are building on what God’s given to us,” Bridgman said, referring to the young families with children. He said he hopes the church will continue to be willing to give, serve and reach out to whomever is in need.
Looking forward, Elam plans to start Girls in Action and Royal Ambassadors in the fall and revamp its Sunday evening service by rotating between viewing a movie with a Christian message, having a Bible study and leading a night of worship.