Over the past twenty five years our church has been involved in numerous outreach and mission oriented ministries, among them the planting of new churches. In 1998 we partnered with then Youth Pastor Chris Sustar to plant a church in Anderson, South Carolina. Although Pastor Chris doesn't get the credit he deserves for planting a church, it was a new work, which today has over 700 in weekly attendance.
In 1999 we partnered with a former staff member Daryl Croft to plant a new church in Columbia, South Carolina. The House of Praise grew quickly to over 300 and today has a great outreach ministry in the Dominican Republic.
It should be the nature of healthy growing churches to reproduce new, healthy growing churches. To that, I am pleased to announce we are partnering with Pastor Lee and Regina Claypoole to plant a new church in Lexington, Kentucky.
Pastor Lee and Regina are natives to the state of Kentucky and have a burden and passion for the people of that region. They have a vision to establish a church reaching the unchurched with the gospel of Jesus Christ. We stand with them in that vision and commit to them our prayers and financial support. Our Elders have unanimously agreed to provide the Claypoole family their salary and benefits for at least the first year of this endeavor, and will provide opportunities for the congregation to give to other needs of the new church (building needs, supplies, etc.).
Make no mistake, we will miss the Claypooles in our youth ministries and our church. Pastor Lee's achievements as a youth pastor are off the chart. I'm sure our youth will initially feel at a loss, but I am also sure their spiritual maturity will give them understanding that for each of us "God has a plan." A nation-wide search for the person(s) to lead our youth ministry is already underway.
I ask that you join with me in prayer for this endeavor and all impacted and involved. I believe in just a few months we will have another testimony of what God has done, both in Lexington and here at Praise Cathedral.