Leary is much when God is in it
Published: May 29, 2014
LEARY — Leary Baptist Church, with a resident membership of 82, is a small church in a small town (population 666), but the pastor, Craig Layton, with a passion for revival and a mandate from God, is thinking big and has a vision to change the landscape of Calhoun County and beyond.
“God is being exalted to His rightful place and the testimony of Jesus Christ is being spread within and beyond the city limit signs.”
Craig Layton, pastor
Leary Baptist Church
According to Pastor Layton, Leary is a town that has been held hostage by racism for years. However, the spiritual condition of Leary Baptist Church and the community is changing.
Layton says, “Everyone who has been to Leary knows it (the demonic oppression of racism) and has witnessed the sad affects of this oppression. Yet, through the power and leadership of the Lord, this stronghold of Satan has been thrown down. Real revival has begun as brothers and sisters rejoice in their new family. God is being exalted to His rightful place and the testimony of Jesus Christ is being spread within and beyond the city limit signs.”
As a result of a church revival and a global missions conference the pastor and church was given a vision for what they have called “Collide.” The vision was to mobilize the members of Leary Baptist Church to go to another town and engage in a missions project with a focus on evangelism.
Camilla was the city chosen for this initiative. Layton explained, “Ministry opportunities began to open for us and we soon realized that this mission was much bigger than we had first anticipated. Tucker Baptist Association graciously provided us lodging at their camp for a week.
“Mitchell County’s Boy and Girl’s Club opened their doors and allowed us to take the Gospel message to the more than 500 children they serve each day.
“We also set up a tent on the property of the Camilla Housing Authority where we served dinner and held Gospel tent meetings each evening. The Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief cooking team prepared the evening meals.
“We were fortunate enough to receive financial support from several Baptist churches, the Georgia Baptist Convention’s Evangelism Ministry, and the dear people of our own church.”
Reports from Camilla indicated that the effort was a huge success. More than 25 persons were born into the Kingdom of God. The rededications were too numerous to count. Disheartened and disconnected church members were renewed and the presence and love of the Holy Spirit was evident in every service.
Layton explained, “I would like to say that the lineup of evangelists reaped the most bountiful harvest of the week; however, it was the door-to-door witnessing by willing saints that produced the greatest success.
“Our vision is to gather believers from all over Georgia into small Georgia towns to demonstrate the love of Christ…”
Craig Layton, pastor
“Over 200 children were presented with the Gospel in creative and effective ways. Many of these children wore their salvation bracelets throughout the entire week.
“Collide 2014 was such an amazing success that we plan to make it an annual event. There were six Baptist churches from Georgia that participated in this experiment. Our vision is to gather believers from all over Georgia into small Georgia towns to demonstrate the love of Christ and challenge these communities with the Gospel.”
Benefits of investing
“The people who participated had to invest considerable time, hours of planning, and much prayer into this initiative, but the benefits included the wondrous presence of God, immediate response to prayers of faith, the faithfulness of God to abundantly supply our needs, the empowerment to press on in reaching the lost in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth, and a soul-winner’s crown,” Layton concluded.
Leary Baptist Church averaged 35 in worship in 2013 and their total receipts were $58,895, yet they made a significant impact for Christ. What is your church doing with what you have been given?
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