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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Lakeside Baptist Church celebrates 50 years of service in Birminghamcomment (0)

November 1, 2007

By Brian Blackwell


As she sang the last chorus, Ann Brooks couldn’t help but fight back the tears.

Brooks — one of 37 charter members of Lakeside Baptist Church, Birmingham — was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Birmingham Baptist Association church with more than 900 current and former members and guests.

“Each Sunday that I sing in the choir, I look across the sanctuary at the different generations here and think about what God has done at Lakeside,” she said.

Her favorite part of the anniversary celebration Sept. 30 was reconnecting with the other charter members.

“This was a growing experience for all of us,” Brooks recalled. “We knew there were a lot of prospects in a community that would one day grow to be a thriving place to live. The field was ready for the harvest, and we were the workers who helped nurture what we were given.”

During the celebration service, messages about the church’s past, present and future were shared by three of the four pastors who have served Lakeside. The pastors shared about the church’s heart for missions, the possibility for future growth and the need for unity as the congregation presses on toward the future.

“We have held to fundamental values throughout our church’s history,” said Ken Maynard, minister of administration and senior adults at Lakeside. “At the same time, we don’t reject new ideas that come into our church, but whether we sing an old hymn or a new praise song, we make sure that we hold to basic, biblical values of missions and preaching.”

Maynard stressed the church’s missions focus, which includes sharing the gospel in its community, state, nation and beyond. Its missions endeavors have included planting and building churches in Guatemala and Brazil, ministering to Hispanics locally and caring for Birmingham’s homebound senior citizens.

“Lakeside is very missions-minded — the reason being Jesus commanded us to do so in Acts 1:8,” said Mike McLemore, pastor of Lakeside from 1983 until earlier this year. “This church has always seen the need to carry the gospel throughout the world, and I expect that will continue long into the future.”

Lakeside was organized Sept. 29, 1957, as a mission of Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills, in Birmingham Association. The fledgling congregation, led by Pastor Julian Yuille, a student from Howard College (now Samford University) in Birmingham, met at a local elementary school until it was able to move into a newly constructed church building several hundred yards from the school in March 1959.

By August 1959, the church had hired its second pastor, Earl Tew, who served in that capacity until June 1980. During Tew’s tenure, membership increased from 132 to more than 1,300; the budget grew from just under $20,000 to more than $410,000; and the current sanctuary was built.

Ray Wood became Lakeside’s third pastor in September 1980, and McLemore was called as the first associate pastor in May 1981. Once Wood retired, McLemore assumed the role of pastor.

Under McLemore’s leadership, the church expanded the family life center and added more parking spaces. It also added balcony seating in the sanctuary and a two-story education building.

Earlier this year, McLemore accepted the position of executive director of Birmingham Association. The church is currently searching for a new pastor, and Richard Trader is serving as interim pastor.

With a current membership of 2,394 and Sunday School enrollment of 1,905, Maynard is optimistic about the future of Lakeside.

“The future is brighter than the past, and the past has been great,” he said. “Our people have to continue depending on the Holy Spirit and believe in the basics found in the Bible.”

Brooks echoed the thought. “With this generation we have coming up, it gives me hope,” she said. “It’s unlimited what the future holds, because we have so many young people and families in our church who are committed to the Lord.”

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