Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

March 10, 2014

PLEASANT HILL RAMBLINGS: Building a foundation and a place to play

By Jean Clark
Chronicle contributor

CROSSVILLE — The new church family that has been planted in Pleasant Hill, the Pleasant Hill Baptist Mission, took on a mission of its own. Under grey skies and cold wind, about 25 people spread wood chips under the swings, slides and basketball hoops both in front of and behind the Pleasant Hill Elementary School. Led by Bro. Adam Strayer manning a rake and Scottie Parks with his tractor, the men, women and children made the two playground areas usable for the elementary school children now that the weather is better.

In conversation with the school's principal, Mary Ann Kotus-Huff, Bro. Strayer suggested that the mission members were available to help with school projects. He noted the piles of wood chips that the board of education had supplied. She readily agreed that there was a need to have them distributed to make the playgrounds accessible for the children. They had attempted this project earlier in the year, but were stymied by the snow and ice that has plagued the Plateau this year.

The Pleasant Hill Baptist Mission is a ministry of the Lantana Rd. Baptist Church (LRBC). Last year, some of the remaining members of the First Baptist Church of Pleasant Hill contacted LRBC seeking help in keeping their church alive. The First Baptist Church has had an active ministry in the Pleasant Hill area since 1955, but in recent years suffered a decline in membership. Remodeling began in May 2013, and the first service with standing room only was held Sunday, Nov. 24.

A core plant team from LRBC of 14 people, 11 adults and three children under the leadership of Adam and Michelle Strayer were committed to worship at the Pleasant Hill Baptist Mission at the corner of Main St. and Browntown Rd. There have been approximately 60 worshippers on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. recently. Nursery is provided for the young ones.

The church building received a complete makeover. A new baptistery was installed, ceilings and walls refurbished, new window trim, lighting, flooring, doors and entryway accomplished. An accessible bathroom was added to the first floor and the lower community level redone as well. There have been three baptisms in the new baptistery, with another one scheduled. Two worshipers have committed to Christ during worship. LRBC provides a van for transport to services and other activities. There is a walkway and ramp between the Fletcher House for Assisted Living in Uplands Village and the church. Monthly fellowship activities have been successfully attended on Friday nights.

The mission is building a foundation for a new church family in Pleasant Hill. They are providing a home for the un-churched, not looking to “shuffle sheep around from church to church.” Adam Strayer, the church start minister, has been preaching and ministering for more than six years at Lantana Rd. Baptist Church under the direction of Bro. Scott Johnson.

Bro Strayer proclaims, “We are letting God lead us.”

He can be contacted for more information at 788-2844 or phb@phillbaptist.com. Go to www.phillbaptist.com for more information or visit the Pleasant Hill Baptist Mission Facebook page.

This week in Pleasant Hill:

Monday, March 17 — Book Review by Gail Ford in Adshead Hall. Financing our Foodshed: Growing Local Food with Slow Money by Carol Peppe Hewitt.

Wednesday and Friday — Free tax preparation in Pleasant Hill Community House. Call 277-3096 for an appointment.