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Forest Lake Pastor Payne marks 25 years of service comment (0)

May 8, 2014

By Neisha Fuson

Forest Lake Pastor Payne marks 25 years of service

Pastor Donald (Donnie) Payne, who marked 25 years of leadership May 5 at Forest Lake Baptist Church, Tuscaloosa, said he has learned that God has never called him to do anything that He has not provided the resources to do it with. 

During his tenure at the Tuscaloosa Baptist Association church, Payne has seen God lead the congregation to rebuild the church facilities after they were severely damaged in a tornado April 27, 2011. The church launched a disaster relief ministry to survivors that still serves about 200 families a week in different capacities. Later Forest Lake built Nehemiah’s Coffeehouse to use as a tool in relational evangelism. 

“God has blessed me with a long line of faithful leaders in the church that work tirelessly behind the scenes because they love God,” Payne said of the congregation.

The church will recognize Payne’s years of service with a celebration June 29.

Payne earned a bachelor’s degree from Blue Mountain College in Mississippi and a master of divinity and a doctor of ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

He served as interim pastor of three churches early in his ministry and later as pastor of two churches in Mississippi before leading Forest Lake. He also served as Tuscaloosa Association moderator and in several other ministry roles related to family ministry in Alabama and Mississippi. He has led several missions trips throughout the United States and overseas, including Indonesia.

One of Payne’s dreams will come to fruition in August 2014, he said, when the church will launch a New Orleans Seminary extension center in its building. “We see God using Forest Lake Baptist Church as a [way] to reach young people with the gospel, giving them a platform for ministry experiences, providing them with the training needed and then sending them out to plant churches,” Payne said.

He and his wife, Charlotte, have two children and four grandchildren. 

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