|Updated: 2/20/2012 7:45 am
||Published: 2/19/2012 5:28 pm
BENTON, AR - Lighthouse Baptist Church in Benton faced uncertainty a year-and-a-half ago when its membership shrunk to four. Today, the church has nearly ten times the followers it had back then thanks to a recruitment campaign to get younger people to join.
"Oh, it's such a wonderful church," says charter member Nan McClendon.
McClendon joined Benton's Lighthouse Baptist Church twenty years ago.
"It's just marvelous, and I wouldn't go anywhere else," she says.
But in 2010, McClendon, along with Pearl Marcrum, thought Lighthouse Baptist might have to close its doors.
"It got down to four ladies," says Marcrum.
Once forty strong, interest in the congregation had faded.
"There use to be a young lady that attended when she was about six years old, but she's kind of gotten away from giving the Lord part of her time back, so I'm still praying for her," says Marcrum.
The four founding members set out to recruit new members at a Hot Springs Church and found Josh Butler and his wife. Now, they lead Sunday's music ministry.
"When you come here for Miss Pearl and Miss Nan and the others, they're just they're friendly. They don't care about necessarily, they don't care about who comes to church, they just want somebody that they can love on and tell you that they love you," says Butler.
When the Butlers joined, only five or six people would attend every Sunday. Today, that number is up to 30. Butler gives the charter members credit for not giving up.
"No matter what, they were gonna stay here is such an encouragement to me because they stayed in it even when nobody else was here that they were still here at this church and they were going to keep it open," says Butler.
"This church, they'll make you feel good for coming in that front door," says Marcrum.
Lighthouse Baptist Church wants to continue to grow. It is on Salt Creek road in Benton and worships at 11 a.m. on Sundays.