December 8, 2020
It is our prayer that you are staying healthy during the coronavirus pandemic. Over the last few weeks our church and Allen County have seen a large increase in cases and those hospitalized because of COVID-19. Many of our Sunday Morning Groups and mid-week Bible studies have not been meeting because of attendees and leaders sick and quarantined.
To continue keeping everyone safe and healthy there will be a few changes to the weekly schedule starting this Sunday, December 13.
• Sunday Morning Groups will be postponed until further notice.
• The 11AM Worship Service will continue to be in-person and online.
• Please be attentive to social distancing signs in the auditorium.
• LBT Kids and Child Care will continue in-person at 11AM only.
• Regular mid-week services will be postponed until further notice. Please note this starts the week of Dec. 13.
Thank you for your help in keeping everyone safe, while making Sunday Morning Worship a priority. As always, stay up-to-date with what is going on at The Central Hub: www.limabaptisttemple.org/centralhub.
Your Lima Baptist Temple Ministry Team
August 27, 2020
We are very grateful for the support and encouragement you have shown us throughout the last few months. Although, we have enjoyed seeing many of you throughout the summer on Sunday mornings, we understand that everyone may not be comfortable coming at this time and it looks different for each individual and family. We want you to know that whether you choose to worship with us online or in-person we are thankful that you are joining us!
We are excited to announce that starting Sunday, September 20, we will begin a new schedule for the fall. Please note that AWANA and LBT Students will resume on September 16. This schedule will include one worship service, Sunday morning groups, and many of the weekly gatherings to which you are accustomed.
The schedule will be as follows:
SUNDAY: There will be one worship service at 11AM that will continue to be streamed on Facebook and YouTube. All Sunday morning groups will resume at 9:45AM for all ages. This includes childcare and other groups for LBT Kids and students. At this time Pastor Gary will not be leading a Sunday evening Bible study.
TUESDAY: Pastor Gary will begin meeting in-person for his weekly Solid Food Bible study at 10:30AM. This will meet in the Fellowship Hall in the back building.
WEDNESDAY: Our midweek activities will include AWANA, Men’s and Ladies’ Bible study, LBT Students, and Adult Bible study.
Also, home based small groups will begin meeting this fall and will be going through the book of James in a study by Francis Chan. When you get together, have fun, and dive into the Bible, you develop a strong community that grows together. If you would like to sign up for these small groups or others, go to the Central Hub at www.limabaptisttemple.org/centralhub and click on groups.
We can’t wait to see you this fall as we continue to meet together and grow in our relationship with Jesus through the various groups. If you have any questions or have a need, do not hesitate to reach out.
Your Lima Baptist Temple Ministry Team
July 23, 2020
Hello Church Family,
I want to give you an update regarding our church and the Coronavirus Pandemic. First let me thank you for your continued prayers and support as we navigate through these changes. As you know, Allen County was included in the list of counties last week put on Red Alert Level 3 Public Emergency, which mandates wearing masks in public. Also, the State of Ohio on Wednesday issued a state wide mask mandate.
I want to remind you, every decision this leadership team has made regarding the pandemic has been made not out of fear, but out of our love for each of you and our community. Also, in the spirit of unity we believe it’s important to support our national and local leaders, and health care professionals.
Lori and I were out of town celebrating our 35th anniversary, when I received this message about Allen County going to Level 3; however, I didn’t want to make a rash decision until I got back and met with my team and deacon leadership.
The popular thing is not always the right thing and the right thing is not always the popular thing.
You’ve heard me say more than once; If I please the Lord, it doesn’t matter who I displease. But if I displease the Lord, it doesn’t matter who I please.
It’s not about what is personal or politically correct, but what’s biblically correct.
There are many scriptures that I can share like:
1 Peter 2:13-17
2 Chronicles 7:14
I encourage you to look up these passages. The passage that says it all to me is 2 Chronicles 7:14. It says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will HUMBLE themselves.” What keeps us from doing that – PRIDE! When I go to a hospital, I have no problem wearing a gown or mask when I visit a sick person. Is it too much for me to wear a mask to Worship the Lord for the health of others and in respect to governing officials, regarding CDC guidelines and the mandate of our Governor? What about the Persecuted church- What do you think they would give to only have to wear a mask to be able to worship in a church freely?
As your Pastor, I had to swallow my pride. It was hard, because we have had great attendance since this pandemic. I want to have as many people here as we can get; and I know when we have to wear masks, the crowd may shrink, but not God’s promise.
What is that promise? Listen to the rest of the verse. And pray and seek my face & turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.
Not only is that true for a nation, but for us as individuals and as a church.
We are to love our neighbor. It’s not about us. The Lord has been good to Lima Baptist Temple during this pandemic, but I believe if we will humble ourselves and swallow our pride, He will bless us beyond measure going forward. I can’t promise you that I can keep you safe, but I can promise you that I am obeying what God has instructed me to do.
On Tuesday evening the pastoral team and deacons determined the following:
There will still be two identical Sunday services at 9AM & 11AM and Livestream on Facebook & YouTube at 11AM.
We are asking you to wear a mask if you attend a service in person.
LBT kids and childcare will continue to be offered at 11AM only, however, children are welcome to sit with their parents at either service.
Per Governor DeWine’s mandate, Children 10 and under do not have to wear a mask.
Going forward if Allen county would upgrade to level 4, in person services will stop and there will be live stream only at 11AM.
When our state and local authorities remove the mandate, masks will no longer be required.
All cleaning and sanitizing processes will continue to be in place.
Please know that we are not going to be the mask police, but we are asking you to do what is right for the health and safety of all our families. We also understand that some of you are unable to wear a mask and are exempt.
Your staff and leadership understand that there are varying opinions and beliefs when it comes to what people should be doing during Covid-19. We thank you for honoring that Lima Baptist Temple will respect our leaders at this time. Please continue to do what is right for the health of your family, while respecting that others may look at things differently.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate the many unknowns. We look forward to seeing you this Sunday in-person or online.
July 1, 2020
Our first month back was great, and I have enjoyed seeing many of you in-person! I am thankful that we were able to open and worship together. I understand that everyone may not be comfortable coming at this time and it looks different for each individual and family. I want you to know, that whether you worship with us online or in-person we are thankful that you are joining us!
I also want to thank you for your encouragement and faithfulness during this time. There are many churches and pastors that have struggled financially during the coronavirus pandemic. There are some churches that will never open again. God has been good to Lima Baptist Temple! As of last week, our overall budget need was only down a little over $14,000 for the year. You can find the weekly financial updates in the Welcome Center on Sunday mornings.
Many of you have reached out to find out when the weekly and Sunday schedule will return to normal. While I don’t know an exact date, we are moving forward with plans for the fall that include: Wednesday evening activities, small groups, and several events. I am excited for a “Better Together” Sunday we are planning for October 4th that includes a meal!
I am excited to share with you that starting Wednesday, July 8th, we will be opening the auditorium for prayer from 10AM – Noon every Wednesday for the remainder of the summer. Right now our church, community and country need our prayers.
Also, on Sunday, July 12th we will be participating in communion together at both the 9AM and 11AM services. We will have pre-packaged elements – A wafer and Juice. Please pick these up in the welcome center on your way into the auditorium.
As a reminder here is the current summer schedule:
SUNDAY: There are two identical Sunday Morning worship services at 9AM and 11AM. Childcare and kids worship are offered only at 11AM, however, children are welcome to sit with their families at either service. The 11AM service will continue to be streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
TUESDAY: Don’t forget to join Pastor Gary online Tuesdays at 10:30AM for his weekly Bible study. This will continue online throughout the summer.
WEDNESDAY: We are having a great time on Wednesdays with MDWK ONLINE. This is a mid-week service that engages the whole family. Every week we feature games, giveaways, a message, and special appearances. Please join us as we study the fruit of the spirit.
I am excited to see you in the coming weeks. If you have any questions or have a need, do not hesitate to reach out.
May 21, 2020
It has been over ten weeks since I have seen each of you in-person on a Sunday morning. I have missed our time together in more ways than you can imagine and I am thankful for the support, encouragement and faithfulness during this time. Our Leadership team has been working extra hard to determine when and how we can meet again. I am excited to share with you that Sunday, May 31 will be our first Sunday back together.
As we mentioned in our last letter, Sunday mornings will look different moving forward. Here are some of the ways we are planning on keeping you and your families healthy and safe.
There will be two identical Sunday morning services at 9:00AM and 11:00AM to maximize social distancing. There will be no Sunday morning Groups/Bible study as we first open.
Childcare and LBT Kids Worship will be available at the 11AM service only; however, your children are welcome to sit with you in the 9AM service. Jenna, our Children’s Director, will be communicating directly with families with kids.
You will notice signs designating pews for the 9AM service and 11AM service and all items have been removed from the back of the pews.
We will no longer pass the offering plates during the service. We ask that you drop your offering in one of the several “Giving Boxes” placed in convenient locations near the auditorium entrances.
A physical bulletin will not be available at this time. We will have an electronic copy available on the website and through the Bible app on your phone.
Other Sunday morning changes include: no greeting time in the service, no refreshments or coffee, and the stage will look different to maximize distance between people. We encourage you to go straight into the auditorium when you arrive.
Be assured, we will be sanitizing before, during, and between services; you may notice sanitization teams walking around Sunday morning.
While we will not require masks to be worn, we do ask that families and individuals please maintain a safe distance from others.
As you can see, our leadership team is taking a cautious approach, while keeping all age groups and individuals in mind. Our goal is to create a clean, safe, and non-touch experience. All other weekly Bible studies will continue to be held online.
This is a unique time for all of us and I want to challenge all of us to have a spirit of grace, understanding and humility as we move forward and learn each and every week. Stay up-to-date with future plans on The Central Hub and through social media.
You are Loved!
May 1, 2020
Dear Lima Baptist Temple,
It has been almost eight weeks since we have met in-person. Please know that we miss seeing everyone on Sunday mornings, however, it has been encouraging to see how God is using this unique time to impact individuals and families in Lima and Allen County. We are working extra hard to serve you and our community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Our leadership team has been working diligently to determine when and how we can meet again on Sunday mornings. While the exact date is still unknown, we would love to have our first in-person Sunday in June, however, this depends on many factors including when the State of Ohio allows and starts the process of opening up. As a reminder, we did not make the decision to initially close out of fear, but out of our love for each of you and the Lima community. We want to make sure we are doing our part to keep each of you safe and healthy. Second, we made the decision to initially close and to stay closed to support our national and local leaders. In the spirit of unity, we feel it is important to continue support the decision to not gather together in groups, until we reopen
When we are able to come back together, Sunday Mornings will look a lot different and here are several of the items we are planning for:
There will be two identical Sunday Morning services at 9:00AM and 11:00AM to maximize social distancing. There will be no Sunday Morning Groups/Bible study as we first open.
There will be many Sunday morning changes including: no offering plates passed, no greeting time, no refreshments, bulletins will be nonexistent, the stage will look different to maximize distance between people. We will encourage you to go straight into the auditorium when you arrive.
There will be rigorous sanitization requirements before and between services.
Our leadership team is taking a cautious approach, while keeping all age groups and individuals in mind. We plan on starting with Sunday mornings and expanding safely and considerately from there. Our goal is to create a clean, safe, and non-touch experience. All other weekly Bible studies will continue to be held online. As we get close to opening back up, we will keep each of you updated.
Stay up-to-date with future plans on The Central Hub and social media. We are grateful for the support, encouragement, and faith that everyone has demonstrated during this time.
Your Lima Baptist Temple Ministry Team
April 15, 2020
Dear Church Family!
Easter from Lima Baptist Temple was amazing! It was great connecting with everyone through our Good Friday service and Easter Sunday. We continue to pray for each of you as we navigate COVID-19 together.
The church has never been about the building, but about the people. Now more than ever, we want to live out our mission: Go. Serve. Love. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our community. Over the last several weeks we have been getting the question “How can I help?”
Here are three ways you can help:
PRAY: Prayer is the best place to start. Desire God above all else and seek His Wisdom. Pray for our church, pray for our community, and pray for those that are on the front lines of COVID-19. Use this 7-Day Prayer Guide to help focus your prayers.
GIVE: Your generosity is what allows us to move forward and impact our mission. It is more important now in this season of uncertainty than any other time. Our team continues to talk with our community leaders and area nonprofits for additional ways to love and serve the Lima community. Your continued generosity will allow Lima Baptist Temple to meet these needs.
SERVE: Serving looks a little different now, but there are still ways to get involved. First, please continue to donate to our GAP Pantry. We are gearing up for our next mobile GAP Pantry. We need items such as: Body Wash, Shampoo, Conditioner, Lotion, Deodorant, Bleach, Cleaning Products, Dish Soap, Garbage Bags, Paper Towels, Kleenex, and Toilet Paper. Also, reach out to those you know. Write letters, encourage with phone calls, and let those around you know you are here for them.
If you are someone looking for help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We have individuals that would love to run errands or help with another need. You can call the church office at
It’s important to stay connected during this time! As we all figure out what it looks like to maneuver this online community, please stay up-to-date on our social media and website.
Your Lima Baptist Temple Ministry Team
April 1, 2020
It is my prayer that you are staying healthy and safe during this unique time. As I have said before, the coronavirus did not catch God by surprise. It is important to take the necessary precautions and leave the rest up to Him. As a reminder, we are continuing to meet online for the foreseeable future. We hope to be able to meet in person sometime in May, but this is a fluid and changing situation. So please join us LIVE on Facebook and YouTube throughout the week. Please check out all of the times at www.limabaptisttemple.org.
If you have any issues connecting with any LIVE service on Facebook or YouTube, do not hesitate to reach out and we can help you.
Our ministry is moving forward and we continue to look for opportunities to serve you and our community. We are thankful for your partnership and your investment in the ministry of Lima Baptist Temple. Please continue to support the church as the Lord leads and as you are able.
We encourage you to give online. You can do this by going to our church website or by texting “GiveLBT” to 77977 and this will take you to the PushPay app to download. While online giving is available and convenient, I do understand that not everyone is comfortable giving in this way. If you would like several stamped and self-addressed envelopes to mail in your tithes and offerings please give the church office a call. We are thankful for your generosity and faithfulness during these financially uncertain times. You are a blessing!
I am reminded of Hebrews 10:25, “not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” I cannot wait to see you all again! When we are able to meet together we will have a Better Together meal and celebrate God’s goodness. We are always Better Together! God is sovereign, He is in control, and He loves us!
You are Loved!
March 18, 2020
Dear Lima Baptist Temple,
As I reflect back on the last week I am reminded of the many emotions that I have felt as the leadership team and I seek God for direction. Please be reminded, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever! We must be reassured by this truth in uncertain and fearful times. Please know that our team at Lima Baptist Temple is working diligently to serve you and our community during the coronavirus pandemic.
The deacon board and pastoral team decided all in person gatherings and activities are cancelled at least through March 29. We will be live with our worship services on Sundays at 11AM on Facebook, YouTube, and our website at limabaptisttemple.org/live. At this point the church offices will continue to be open normal hours Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 4:30PM.
First, we did not make this decision out of fear. We know this situation did not catch God by surprise and He’s not worried. We made this decision out of our love for each of you and the Lima community. You have heard me say more than one time that we want to be a church that is known for what we are for, rather than for what we are against. We are a church that is for our community. We want to make sure that we are doing our part to keep each of you safe and healthy as well as those around us. We love you and we love Lima!
Second, we made this decision to support our national and local leaders. While technically, there is an exclusion that would allow us to continue to meet together, in the spirit of unity we feel it is important to support the decision to not gather together in groups. These individuals along with first responders, health care workers and many others are working tirelessly day and night to help fight the global spread of the coronavirus. Let’s support their efforts.
I also want to remind you that our ministry is moving forward. We are continuing to look for unique ways to serve you and our community during this time. If you have a spiritual or physical need or need prayer, do not hesitate to reach out.
We are thankful for your partnership and your investment in the ministry of Lima Baptist Temple. These are financially uncertain times, but please continue to support the church as the Lord leads and as you are able. We encourage you to give online at www.limabaptisttemple.org and click on “giving” or text “GiveLBT” to 77977. You can also mail in or drop off your tithe/offering at the church office.
Stay up-to-date with future plans on The Central Hub, Facebook, Hometown Stations as well as e-mails. We are grateful for the support, encouragement, and faith that everyone has demonstrated during this time. God is sovereign, He is in control, and He loves us!
You are Loved,