CRESTVIEW — The Rev. Paul Mixon, Central Baptist Church’s new head pastor, is pleased that the church is growing.
"The first Sunday I came here, we had 27 in church," he said. "The past few weeks, we have had 102 and 104."
Mixon, a Crestview Police Department chaplain who is three years into studies at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, credits God and church members for keeping the faith.
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"No matter how you look at it, the people make the church," he said. "You can't come through this church on Sunday morning and not have someone come and hug your neck and tell you that they love (you) and they are happy you are here. It's the love of Christ from these people that make it what it is. "
Helping believers strengthen their faith are upcoming programs like Sept. 21’s "Love Worth Fighting For” — featuring an inspirational message from "Growing Pains" and "Fireproof" star Kirk Cameron and music from Christian singer/songwriter Warren Barfield — and The Red Roots’ Sept. 14 concert.
The church will boost fellowship opportunities by forming a chapter of Royal Ambassadors, a Boy Scouts alternative, and by adding a weekly women's Bible study group open to non-church members.
It will continue providing a soup kitchen at 11 p.m. every Monday at the Recreational Outreach Center behind the church.
"They are averaging 115 people every Monday," Mixon said.
The church also runs a food pantry.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.