As we approach our thirteenth anniversary-I cannot believe that I just typed that high of a number-at North Life Baptist Church, I wanted to post a brief overview of the when/where God moved on our behalf to plant a speaking-the-truth-in-love church in Wayne County, Ohio (The picture above would be of our humble beginnings with our first Sunday service on March 29, 2009).  When you consider that approximately half of church plants do not survive beyond two years and add to that the woeful shortcomings of this senior pastor, it is nothing short of miraculous!  Some would consider the number “13” as “unlucky; we choose to see it as a moment to celebrate God’s glorious, intensifying blessings upon our ministry.  As Paul reminds the saints in the Ephesian church, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (1:3).

Here a few key dates:

August 2007-Snode family surrenders to plant a church in Wooster, Ohio.

September 2008-Snode family moves back to Ohio to prepare the launch of NLBC out of Mansfield Baptist Temple and Pastor Dale Adkins.

January 2009-Thursday night Bible studies begin at Kean Elementary.

March 2009-Opening week of services are held at Kean Elementary.

June 2009-Church services/offices are moved to Oak Hill Building.

September 2009-Charter Service is held at Oak Hill Building. (The date from which we mark our anniversaries)

March 2012-Church services/offices are moved to Greenbriar Building.

January 2017-Church changed name from “North Pointe Baptist Church” to “North Life Baptist Church.”

February 2017-Church purchases/moves to Back Orrville Road Building.

June 2017-Completion of Phase One (Classroom Wing)

May 2019-Completion of Central Lobby

March 2020-Went to Church Online/Drive-In Services AND THRIVED instead of DIVIDING/FALTERING

September 2022-Starting Fundraising for “Amen Project”-the renovation of auditorium and offices.

While these moments listed above are special for numerous reasons, they are most important in light of eternity.  Praise the Lord for the many SOULS saved, discipled, & mobilized that made these places and years of not just tangible but eternal significance!

As one author put it, “In an age of hyper-individualism, committing to church is a revolutionary act.”  And words cannot express how grateful I am for many over the years who have help us start an ongoing revolution, in Wayne County, Ohio, against the world, the flesh, and the Devil himself!  We currently find ourselves, by God’s grace, as a vibrant church who is committed to evangelizing the lost, grace-fueled community, congregational worship, and clear exposition of God’s Word.  (Please pray for us as we continue to grow in each of these disciplines.)

As we celebrate here in Wooster this weekend, I just wanted to thank many locally and across the country who have sacrificially supported our ministry for Jesus here with your tenacious prayer, sacrificial giving of time and resources, and just simply being interested in/excited about what God is doing.  Without the Lord and HOW HE USED YOU, especially in the challenging seasons, we would not be celebrating this milestone…period.  On behalf of Heidi, my sons, and our entire church, may the Lord richly bless you for sharing with us in this exciting and fruitful ministry of planting another local church for His glory alone!

Over these years spent serving in our fledgling church, I have come to believe more than ever the following words from Christ:

Mt 16:13-18 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

“My Church.”  While I love NLBC as much or more than any other human being alive, it is not my church.  It is His church.  It always has been His church.  And it always will be His church.  And that fresh realization, on this thirteenth anniversary, indicates that we are blessed indeed!