LifePoint wants to 'bloom' in Bowling Green
Written by BILL RYAN Sentinel Religion Editor
Friday, 22 March 2013 09:15
LifePoint Community Church in Bowling Green is a "church plant" from the home church in Findlay. Pastor Jaime Velasquez is ready for the church to bloom here.
|Jaime Velasquez, pastor at LifePoint Community Chruch in Bowling Green. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The first local services were held in the Bowling Green High School auditorium, beginning October 2011. Last August they took possession of the former Northside Baptist Church facility across the road at 701 W. Poe Road.
Church plants are generally made to reach out where officials feel there is a need to be filled.
"Through prayer, we felt the Lord was leading us here," Velasquez said noting a connection with the group Crosswalk at Bowling Green State University. "There are thousands of people in Wood County who don't go to any church."
Crosswalk is affiliated with an Ohio collegiate ministry program as well as the church.
The pastor says the basic format for the Southern Baptist church is contemporary.
Assisting him in the worship is a worship team and a band which plays contemporary Christian music.
"We try to stay relevant to all generations," while admitting their primary focus is on college students and younger families.
Though the congregation is still relatively small, Velasquez said they are very excited with the group they have.
"We are open and welcome to all ages," he said. "We definitely want to keep growing."
Church services are 5 p.m. Sundays.
Prior to LifePoint beginning its occupancy of the church, Turning Point Community Church held its services on Sunday morning at the then Northside facility.
"We really like the 5 p.m. Sunday worship. It allows the college kids to sleep in," he said noting the continued partnership with Turning Point and its morning service. "It's really working out for us at 5 p.m.
Some improvements have been made to the aging building, including painting and new curtains. He says it will be an ongoing project.
Velasquez, originally from Leipsic, has moved his family to Bowling Green and is quite happy in the community.
As much as anything else, they are also very community oriented. This week members have been serving "free" coffee each morning while seeking donations to benefit the Bowling Green Pregnancy Center.
"We want to help Bowling Green prosper. We simply want to come alongside and show love and generosity while serving," he said. "We want to help the city in any way we can."
The pastor noted how the "Savior, the King of Kings" served and gave his life. "If our king can live his life that way, we want to be the same way."
As part of the church's effort to increase its awareness in the community, they will be offering a special "Easter outreach" on Holy Saturday (March 30) at 6 p.m.
There will be arts and crafts and food being served. Around 7:30 p.m., the church will send the youth outside for an unusual Easter egg hunt at night. The food being served will include hot dogs, chips and beverages.
The church has acquired 600 plastic Easter eggs and will place small glow sticks in each along with a prize. There will be two courses set up outside, one for older children and one for the younger set.
"They glow pretty well," Velasquez said of his test of the eggs. "This will be a great time for the community."
For more information on the church or its outreach, call the office at (419) 352-0243.