Entering into their 73rd year of ministry, Lakeview Baptist Church in Hartsville, South Carolina, knows what it means to be focused on the purpose God has for them. The church, overlooking Prestwood Lake, was founded by members of other local churches who wanted to make it easier for people on the outskirts of town to attend services. Lakeview’s mission to follow Jesus completely and share His love authentically starts in their own backyard as they help in several mission areas in town and reach out to the nations with international mission trips each year. With a heart for missions, Lakeview’s congregation is focused on serving and supporting those who serve.
Senior pastor Ken Hughes says, “We’re in a lot of places, and we’re open to going where God has called us to go. The church has been very supportive in that.”
A major part of Lakeview’s local mission focus is on reaching young adults and helping them become disciples ready to take on active roles within the church. “The younger age group has had a tendency to pull away from the typical Southern Baptist church. We’re attracting a younger demographic because our senior adults are really interested in the younger people being here,” Hughes added.
In the last few years, Lakeview has made multiple changes, including renovating the sanctuary, as they work to pull the next generation closer to Christ. In addition to physical changes to the church, Lakeview also made the decision to switch to Realm as they work to increase the communication within the church.
“When visitors come in, we plug them into Realm, and it keeps us up to date. It actually reminds us to do a visitor follow-up or that we’ve made a first attempt to follow up with people. We miss a whole lot less now,” Hughes says.
Communication and discipleship are vital in the life of Lakeview Baptist. Having the ability to communicate easily with members and visitors helps ministry leaders connect with the congregation and lead people toward involvement and becoming disciples.
Hughes says, “In 10 years, it’s projected that half of the churches in our association will shut their doors because they’re not reaching the younger demographic. We’ve heard those numbers, and we don’t want to be a part of that. We want young people to take an active role in the church because they are the future.”
Lakeview continues to grow as they focus on reaching people for Christ both at home and abroad.