This is part of a series of interviews with pastors of churches whose attendance has grown 20% or more in 5 years. We hope this series will be a resource of ideas to help increase worship attendance at your church.
Live Oak UMC in Watson, Louisiana began in the mid 1800′s as a part of the Methodist circuit. During the Civil War it was destroyed by the Union army, rebuilt in 1884 and received its charter in 1888. I am the 66th pastor since the church received its charter in 1888, and am now in my 17th year. Since 1996 LOUMC has experienced tremendous growth.
To give you some insight into the level of growth Live Oak Methodist has experienced I need to give you some history of the church.
In May of 1996 the average worship attendance was approximately 120 in worship with about 550 members. From June of 1996 to the present Live Oak has had a continual increase in membership and attendance. Today we have 1,900 members with an average worship attendance of 1,050.
Live Oak has three services on Sunday Morning (8:00, 10:00 and 11:30). We also offer two Bible Study hours (Sunday School), and two children’s church programs, all during the Sunday Morning worship time.
Every night LOUMC offers a variety of programs, studies, and small groups. Sunday night we offer workshops (marriage, family, finances, Bible studies, etc.) as well as Children’s programs, musical training etc. Monday night is ladies bible study; Tuesday night is singles study; Wednesday night is Choir, prayer groups, Youth service; Thursday is mid-week worship, Refuge (addiction recovery); Friday night is Family Movie night, and Saturday is for youth, or weddings.
We operate a Thrift shop which is open every week. We feed 26 families every week, and help families in crisis every week of the year. We offer pastoral care and counseling all week, and a variety of short term programs such as our Vacation Bible School, and Valentine Banquet which occurs 5-7 nights in February.
However the hub of all we do centers around an evangelical, Wesleyan form of preaching, teaching and worship.
Live Oak has great lay leadership and a committed staff. These ingredients are the variables that we believe are the essence of LOUMC growth and success.
Dr. Mark Crosby, Pastor Live Oak UMC – mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Church website – www.loumc.org