LakePoint Sports development to include spiritual ministry
by Matt Shinall
Mar 11, 2012 | 3988 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After discussing the creation of a church on the LakePoint Sporting Community property, organizers share a laugh, from left, Bob Zurcher, LakePoint; Frank Bennett, lead pastor; Earl Ehrhart, LakePoint, and David Franklin, Bartow Baptist Association.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
After discussing the creation of a church on the LakePoint Sporting Community property, organizers share a laugh, from left, Bob Zurcher, LakePoint; Frank Bennett, lead pastor; Earl Ehrhart, LakePoint, and David Franklin, Bartow Baptist Association. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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The proposed LakePoint Sporting Community & Town Center has been touted as a game changer for Bartow County economics bringing in an estimated 3 million visitors a year but a group of community members are excited for other implications.

Recent announcements have brought to light LakePoint Sports partnership with the local faith community. Cartersville First Baptist Church Worship Pastor Frank Bennett will head up a team in the planting of Lake Point Church and serve as its lead pastor.

LakePoint Sporting Community will provide a multi-use facility for the home of Lake Point Church in addition to providing outreach through partnerships with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Miracle League.

"As soon as we became aware of this development, we just felt like we should help facilitate a spiritual presence on the campus. I mean, we're excited about the physical exercise side and the fun of the sport and the financial benefit to Bartow -- that's all very exciting but we knew it would be important to have a spiritual presence as well," said CFBC Senior Pastor Randall Williams. "We certainly have welcomed LakePoint to Bartow and LakePoint is inviting Bartow to be on the team, in every way, including a spiritual presence."

At a meeting of the Bartow Baptist Association, Bennett addressed pastors in attendance about the mission of Lake Point Church.

"All those families that come in and then they go away, they're here on Sundays -- and those traveling teams that are here on Sundays, they don't go to church. You and I both know that when you get out of the habit, it's gone," Bennett said. "If people have questions, if people are just going through junk, there will be opportunities for people to express those [needs] and there will be opportunities for other people to pray for them and help them.

"We're there to serve the LakePoint Sports development and their mission. ... They desire to develop the whole person and you cannot leave out the spiritual part and we're going to be there to help give feet to their vision and mission statement."

Other areas of outreach for guests will include Bible studies for parents during practice but Bennett emphasized that Lake Point Church will remain a place for Bartow County residents as well. In fact, the church will begin holding regular services before the complex is completed. Services will begin on Feb. 10, 2013, at South Central Middle School with preview events beginning this fall and winter.

At the BBA meeting, Associational Missionary David Franklin commented on the size of the LakePoint Sports development likening it to events in the past where area churches have worked together.

"There's nothing like this anyplace in the world and so the Christian community wants to have a God-sized response," Franklin said. "For something as big as LakePoint, it's going to take the whole Christian community to respond. Just like we have with the tornado recovery, with SPLASH Bartow -- we'll work together so that our strength and impact is much larger."

Bennett and his family were featured in a December issue of The Daily Tribune News with the adoption of three children from Ukraine. Although Bennett has been seeking opportunities for church planting, the added pressures of an expanding family have complicated the process.

"About a couple years ago, God was dealing with me in, 'Where can I position myself to where I can make the most impact.' I love what I was doing, I love leading worship, music is a part of my life, I love the team I'm working with -- with the staff and also our worship team -- but God was dealing with me, 'You need to plant a church. You need to be a pastor,'" Bennett said. "If I could have picked a better time to plant a church, I would have because we just doubled our family. ... But it's unique how God asks us to do things out of weakness so that he can show that he is strong and that's what he's doing."

For more information about Lake Point Church, visit www.lakepointonline.com or call 770-546-0038.