History

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In the year 1939, a small group of Christians living in the Lakewood Community became aware of the great need for a place of worship. For a short period of time services were held in a home. Realizing the interest for building a church, the group appointed a building committee and began raising funds for a building program.

On Sunday, May 28, 1939, the church building, a 28 x 36 foot frame, was dedicated with ten visiting clergymen from Danville in attendance. The new church was named Pine View Missions and was inter-denominational. The church had only thirteen charter members; however, the people of the community gave hearty support to the work.

843032_337926989646681_320042146_oReverend Allen B. Stanger was called as the first pastor, with preaching services each third Sunday at 3:00 PM. Reverend Stanger was full-time pastor of the West End Christian Church in Danville. He served about a year. Reverend John Kuykendall was called as pastor, and following his term, the Reverend Earl Green was called and served until May 10, 1949.

On November 15, 1949, the Reverend Percy H. Ricketts was called as pastor. Reverend Ricketts served for over twenty years as assistant pastor of the Third Avenue Christian Church in Danville. During the fall of that year, the small frame church building was moved on the side road and a basement built underneath to care for the growing Sunday School. In the November business meeting the church was reorganized with fourteen members and renamed Christian Community Church. The three-man Board of Deacons-Trustees voted to borrow $1,800 to cover the cost of moving the white church building and adding the basement. Also in this meeting, the church voted to give 10% of all church tithes to Home and Foreign Missions. In 1950, the church bought an additional 50 feet of land on Highway No. 58 East and began construction of a large basement auditorium. This was completed and occupied in November of that year. The small frame church building is currently being used as a fellowship hall for the church.

On December 4, 1950, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors voted to name the section of Highway No. 58 East, lying between the Milton Road and Mountain Hill Road, about 3 miles in length, as “Lakewood.” In a business meeting on January 3, 1951, the church voted to change the name of the church to Lakewood Community Church.

On May 13, 1953, the church voted to build the main sanctuary and the new church was completed and occupied in November of that year. On February 2, 1955 the church voted to become affiliated with the Evangelical Methodist Church Conference and the name of the church was again changed to Lakewood Evangelical Methodist Church. The church is still a part of the Evangelical Methodist Conference. The last major building program was the Sunday School Education building, voted on by the church on October 31, 1962.856489_337927072980006_990689824_o

Other smaller programs have been undertaken through the years. These include the building of a new parsonage in 1979, the building of a Handicapped Ramp and Vestibule in 1995 and the renovation and remodeling of the Sanctuary completed in 1998. In the spring of 2006 the church began to pledge money for a new Family Life Center. Enough money was raised to start the building with the church having to get a loan for $40,000. On September 2010 we were able to have Homecoming in the Family Life Center at Lakewood Church.

Upon the retirement in July 1969 of Reverend Percy H. Ricketts., who had been pastor for 19 years, the Reverend G. David Wilson was called. Rev. Wilson was pastor of Lakewood for 18 years before resigning and becoming District Superintendent of the Central Lakes District in 1986. In March of 1987, Rev. Benjamin Sutton was called as pastor of Lakewood and served until he resigned October 1991. In March 1992, Rev. Jim Beeler was called as pastor. Rev. Beeler served as pastor until July 1994 before resigning to become District Superintendent of the Southern District.

12047092_734704653302244_8289469590618494303_nOn January 1995, Rev. Jimmy Burks began his ministry at Lakewood. Rev. Burks resigned July 31, 2004 and began his ministry at Shamrock EMC in Burlington, NC. On August 1, 2004, Rev. Larry Piatt was called to serve as pastor and he began his ministry at Lakewood EMC. During his pastorate the Family Life Center was built and completed in August 2010. Rev. Piatt’s remained at Lakewood until May 30, 2014. During the absence of a full time pastor Rev. Billy Carey, Rev. Doug Armstrong and Rev. Jim Davis filled the pulpit for us.

On February 15, 2015 the church voted on Rev. Ryan Call to become pastor of Lakewood. Rev. Call’s full time ministry started at Lakewood on March 8, 2015.

On October 12, 2015 at the Annual Church Conference, the congregation voted to change the name of the church from Lakewood Evangelical Methodist Church back to Lakewood Community Church as it was known in 1951.

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