By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA –A new chapter is beginning while another is coming to a close for church planting leadership in the state.
Church planter Lane Corley has come on board as the new church planting strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention while Larry Badon is retiring from the same position.
Corley joined the LBC staff on Sept. 3 while Badon is stepping aside on Sept. 30.
Badon was born and raised in the Lake Charles area and while attending Bellview Baptist in Westlake at age 27, he accepted Christ as His personal Lord and Savior.
Since then Badon has planted churches in New York and the Northshore Baptist Association. He also served as pastor of Harrell’s Ferry Baptist Church – now Redeemer Baptist Church – in Baton Rouge for 15 years. Badon and his wife, Patricia, have two children.
During his 10 years as church planting strategist, Badon saw more than 100 new churches planted. Of those, about 75 percent are still in existence today.
Badon said that while he will miss working alongside Louisiana Baptists in planting churches, he will continue to pray for the work Corley and others are doing in the future.
“I have had a great experience working with these men of God in the Baptist Building and on the field,” Badon said. “It’s been a joy working with the directors of missions, church planters and the sponsoring churches to see the kingdom of God expanded and lives changed with the gospel.”
A native of Jena, Corley has planted two churches – Hope Church in Covington and Bridge Church in Madisonville. He and his wife, Heather, have three kids.
Corley, a church multiplication strategist with Northshore Baptist Association since 2008, said he is excited about following in the footsteps of Badon, who he called a mentor since he began church planting in Louisiana in 2001.
“As an associational church planting strategist on the Northshore I came to greatly appreciate the missions and ministries strategy of the LBC led by John Hebert and I look forward to working with associations on strategies to reach every corner of our state,” Corley said. “It’s also an exciting and strategic time in Louisiana for church planting with New Orleans being named one of the North American Mission Board’s Send Cities. New Orleans is so important to our state and I’m looking forward to helping raise up a new generation to engage the city with prayer and missions mobilization.”
Looking into the future of church planting in Louisiana, Badon and Corley are optimistic.
“Through the 20/20 President’s Commission, we learned of a commitment to ramp up church planting,” Badon said. “And we need to do that if we will make a difference in the state. Church planting is the way to win people for Christ and disciple them.”
Corley said he hopes to share his experiences of planting two churches in Louisiana and encourage the next generation of church planters in the state.
He believes church multiplication is one of the best methods to evangelize unchurched people and send Christians on mission into the world. With at least 50 percent of the state still unreached with the gospel, Corley said missions mobilization is an answer to the decline of existing churches.
“New churches open up new fronts on lostness in our cities and communities and gives churches in every corner of our state the opportunity to be mobilized for mission trips, prayer, financial support, or direct multiplication through starting a new church or campus themselves,” Corley said.