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Posted: November 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Changing, charging Mansfield

Mansfield Baptist Church celebrates fall, new campus

Mandi Singer/

Reaching out and up: Mansfield Baptist Church Senior Pastor Dr. Jeff Perkins stands in front of the church's new facility in Mansfield which houses a 340 seat sanctuary, office suites, and wings dedicated to children, adults and youth.

Established in 1911, Mansfield Baptist Church is a fellowship of believers who strive to be a blessing to the community by sharing the unconditional love of Christ. In 2006, they moved from their former location at the corner of Main Street and 3rd Avenue to a 21-acre campus at 101 Woodlawn Road in Mansfield. Within months, the land was debt free and they completed phase one of their four-phase building plan. The new facility houses a 340-seat sanctuary, office suites and wings dedicated to children and preschool, adults and youth.

"We don’t want to be a church that is solely looking inwardly," said Dr. Jeffrey Perkins, pastor of Mansfield Baptist Church. "We want to let the community know that Jesus loves them and show them what that love looks like. Not only are they welcome here, but we want to go where they are and help out."

A native of Dallas, Perkins grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ at age 9. At 17, he felt God’s direction as he prepared for the ministry. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Oklahoma Baptist University, a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Lisa, have two sons, Dalton and Davis.

Perkins served as a summer intern at First Baptist at Newnan and moved to Columbus to answer the call as youth minister at Britt David Baptist Church in Columbus. There, he met his wife, who worked with the youth. In 1996, Perkins relocated his family to Mansfield and accepted the position as senior pastor of MBC.

The church is preparing for their fall festival, a free community-wide family event, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31. A safe, family-friendly alternative to walking the streets on Halloween, there will be games for the children, prizes, candy, hotdogs and chili and music.

A mission-minded church, MBC is gearing up for their first church-wide international mission trip to Mexico. They will send 12 to 15 people to work with the churches by reaching out with the gospel of Christ and offering events for children. Previously, a small group went to New Orleans for Operation Noah.

Last year, the church developed a local mission program called Mansfield Changers. The purpose was to allow members to go and minister in the community.

"We painted houses and cleaned up yards," said Perkins as he recalled how everyone pitched in to help senior adults in need. "We wanted to let them know that we loved them and Jesus loved them. Our goal is to be outwardly focused and make a positive difference in the community."

Mansfield Baptist Church offers a men’s Bible study at 8 a.m. and Sunday school for all ages at 9:45 a.m. A blended morning worship service is held at 11 a.m. and families are encouraged to worship together with their children. A traditional evening service follows at 6 p.m. and Kid’s Time meets separately. Adult prayer meeting, mission friends, RAs and GAs and youth meet on Wednesday at 7 p.m.

The Rev. W. Thomas Barker has served as the minister of music and education since 2002. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State University and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

The Rev. Michael Evans has served as the minister to students since 2006. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from North Greenville College. He currently attends New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is working on his master’s degree.

Dye Galloway was recently added as the director of children’s and preschool ministry. She has a Bachelor of Arts from Mercer University and a Master of Education from the University of Georgia.

Perkins began a new sermon series on "Weathering the Storms of Life" that will challenge the church to trust God and will prepare the church to be sensitive to the needs of the community.

"We want to be the place where people come when they are hurting," Perkins said. "We will introduce them to the one that loves them even more than we do and can change their eternity. We want to help them grow in love and grace of the Lord Jesus Christ."

For more information on Mansfield Baptist Church, located at 101 Woodlawn Road in Mansfield, call (770) 787-0723 or visit www.mansfieldbaptistchurch.com.

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