Op-Ed

New Life Baptist will help lead the way as Lacey grows, says incoming Senior Pastor

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One of the best things that ever happened to me was in the summer of 2018 when I walked through the sanctuary doors of New Life Baptist Church in Lacey. I retired 5 years ago as a pastor for 31 years and felt a void in my life. The word of God said to me in no uncertain terms that this is it!

The last church I pastored was in North Carolina and I was back in the state of Washington with a new life. After fellowshipping at New Life several Sundays, the pastor learned that I was a retired pastor and inquired if I knew that he was retiring and that the Senior Pastor position was open. After giving the matter deep thought and prayer and discussing with my wife, I applied and felt very strongly that this job and church were right for me. I was convinced that this was my calling out of retirement.

I realized that my gifts and talents could be utilized to further this church which has existed for 43 years in this community. I became aware of the tremendous growth and development that is projected for this area. Lacey has been acknowledged as being more ethnically diverse than adjacent cities and destined to soon become the largest city in Thurston County and its huge urban growth boundary. I am excited about the opportunities such growth provides for a church such as New Life for those individuals and families seeking religious and spiritual experiences in their lives.

Furthermore, I am excited about being able to provide leadership for the long-held vision of New Life of being a solid pillar in this community and providing a culturally relevant Christian environment for the Black population and others in the area who choose to follow a Black Baptist doctrine.

I am a Servant Leader and it is my vision for New Life Baptist Church to become a vital part of the area’s religious community with a focus on ministering to the congregation through organized training and development of the various ministries that include deacons, ministers, women, men, seniors, youth, prisons, education, homeless, military, music, arts, hospitality, and outreach. With the current population and the anticipated influx of new residents to Lacey and its environs, our church has a critical role to play in the lives of our congregation, and our youth in particular.

We look forward to strengthening our families, assisting our youth in achieving academic excellence, continuing our feeding of the poor and homeless, providing outreach to the incarcerated and helping with re-entry, supporting our military members and their families, and establishing counseling and mentoring programs.

I believe strongly in community involvement and the need to be seen in order to be heard. In the months to come, I will make myself known to the religious community, community leaders, elected officials, municipal authorities, school district leadership, and civic organizations. As a former Rotarian, I am interested in renewing this civic connection and encouraging more members of the congregation to become involved in the rich variety of community activities.

We have the potential to become a leading religious institution in this community and I am blessed to have been chosen by this congregation as the next Senior Pastor to provide leadership to help make that potential become a reality. I look forward to my installation on April 28. With God’s continued blessings to me, my family, and this congregation, New Life Baptist Church is poised to become a vital and effective religious institution in this community.

Bishop Lorenzo N. Peterson is the incoming Senior Pastor at New Life Baptist Church in Lacey. Reach him at 360-456-5815.
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