Church Highlight: Harbins Church
Your name: Steve Doyle
Your spouse and children’s names: Wife of 21 years, Heather Doyle. Children: Noah (17), Olivia (15), Emma (9), in the process of adoption: Trinity (6), Piper (4)
Name of your church: Harbins Community Baptist Church
Location of church: Dacula, GA
Date church was planted (if your church is a plant): Launched April 8, 2007
Name of partnering church(es): Anchor Church, Grayson, GA
What are the reasons you decided to plant a church in your city (if your church is a plant)? After much prayer, and after serious consideration of locations in Arkansas and North Carolina, we decided to plant in Dacula, GA for two reasons, 1) the Gwinnett Metro Baptist Association made us their key church plant because they saw a need for a new church plant in the specific area where we eventually planted and 2) we saw the need, in this region, for a church that preached from a historical baptist perspective (largely in accordance with the 1689 LBCF and the Abstract of Principles), as well as a church that had a philosophy of bringing the family together albeit not a strict Family-Integration model.
What have you seen the Lord do in and through your church/church plant? Two years into the plant the Lord gave us, through an anonymous donor, 17 acres of land and 1.5 million dollars to build a building. We’ve seen the Lord reach unchurched families for Christ as well as develop the faith of many. Many have come to Harbins seeking something more than the American, program-driven, cultural Christianity they grew up with. We’ve been involved in planting two new churches as well as partnership with a church in Honduras. Members of our church have done missions work in the Middle East, India and Africa. We’ve done missions work nationally in New Orleans, and we’ve also done local missions work at the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home as well as various local evangelistic efforts.
What do you hope to see the Lord do in and through your church in the future? Our desire is to make, mature, and mobilize disciples of Jesus Christ, with the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the glory of Jesus Christ. That, we envision, will play itself out in many different ways. We are currently very focused on deepening and widening our missions efforts in Honduras, and we are expanding outreach efforts locally. But primarily we hope to continue to develop and highlight the preaching and teaching ministry of Harbins so that we might continue to see the most important type of church growth, namely that of believers being conformed to the image of Christ.
What advice do you have for current or future church planters? Be discerning with what church planting books you read. Do not try to copy-and-paste any formula to your community. Learn to shepherd the flock among you, meaning that each flock is unique and therefore much discernment and prayer is required in order for each church plant to learn how to flourish in the location God places it.
What are your 3-4 main prayer requests? 1) Pray for our missions team heading to Honduras in July for a missions trip 2) Pray for the music aspect of our worship as we have been without music leadership for some time 3) Pray for us as we develop and elder affirmation statement and begin to add more lay elders in the Fall (we made some serious mistakes in the past in regards to how we added elders, pray that we learn from our mistakes) 4) Pray for us as our community is growing in numbers but also in diversity, that we might be faithful to the gospel!