BAKER — Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church's congregation is getting too big for its sanctuary.
"It is absolutely crammed, packed in here on Sundays," new head pastor Geoff Prows said. "We actually had several people standing in the back (at a recent church service)."
Church officials counted more than 400 faithful at a recent Sunday morning service, and regular attendance purportedly exceeds the 225 seating capacity.
But having an overflow of believers is "a good problem to have," the Tennessee native said, and there are plans to expand the sanctuary in the near future.
Church officials are working with Cosco & Associates Inc., an architecture and construction company, to determine optimal layout plans. A building fund has been set up for the project.
Prows, who recently relocated his wife and two children to Baker after church members voted him head pastor in October, said he is fortunate to serve a growing congregation.
Aside from expansion, little else about Pilgrim Rest needs changing, Prows said.
"I don't want to take anything from what they have already done here ... (but) I want to add to it," he said, referring to annual events that attract people outside the congregation. Nearly 700 people registered for the church's Easter Egg Drop last year, and some 2,000 showed for October's Trunk or Treat, church officials said.
In addition to working with area churches and ministering to residents in spiritual need, Prows plans to schedule a drive-in family movie night and organize a community-involved football game.
Darren Williams, the fulltime associate pastor who oversees the children's ministry, said Prows is a good fit for the church and the community.
"He brings energy and excitement," Williams said. "I think outreach is going to be a huge asset for him in this community."
As for Prows, he's in it for the long haul.
"I told the congregation that I am going to retire here," he said.