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Pastor of the week: April 10, 2013

caines | 4/11/2013, 5:30 a.m.

Church celebrates 60th anniversary Four years ago, when Rev. A.D. Lenoir, Sr., 30, became the pastor of Westview Baptist Church, it had at most seven members. The church that was around for decades had undergone a trying time and a great period of struggle because of issues that it faced in the past. Although Lenoir was only 26 years old at the time, he was selected from a group of more than 10 other ministers to lead the church. Since then, Lenoir has watched the church grow, physically, spiritually and financially. Last month, the church celebrated its 60th Anniversary. It is during the churchs anniversaries that Lenoir and church members reflect on what the Lord has done for them and how the Lord has brought them from then to now. Reflecting on the churchs past experiences inspires and motivates Lenoir and members of Westview. [Our anniversary] is a very serious time for us, but it is also a time of great praise because although weve gone through ups and downs and weve gone through trails and tests, we still come out triumphant, Lenoir said. At the churchs 60th anniversary celebration they invited former and founding members, including guest speaker Pastor Joe Adams, who leads a church in Athens, GA. Adams told the church of their history, describing the church members and the area that the church had been located in since 1955. The church and a nearby elementary school were the only buildings that were in the area at the time. Lenoir has recognized that although the church buildings surroundings had changed, the spirit of the members hasnt. The founding church members were described as praisers and givers, who not only gave their time, but they also gave their talent and treasure. The same spirit that was there remains, Lenoir said.

Lenoir leads a community church

Presently, the church has focused on bringing more people to Christ, by setting a goal to have 100 people baptized this year, which will increase the number of people who were baptized at the church to 1,000 people. Another method of evangelizing is the churchs drive to five campaign, which has helped the congregation grow seven times greater. That is when church members are encouraged to invite five friends to church each week. Lenoirs goal is for Westview to become a community church and for him to be a community pastor. He also believes to truly impact the church and the community, he must also be a community leader. Therefore, he is running for Miami-Dade commissioner of District number 2 in 2014. When you better the community, you don't only strengthen it alone, but you also better the church, Lenoir said. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com