Pastor Mark A. Garrard has officially joined the Bainbridge First Baptist Church staff as Senior Pastor, and will begin his ministry on Sunday, June 12.
“We could not be any more excited,” Garrard said to the congregants following the unanimous vote of Bainbridge First Baptist Church members. “What God has done in our family and our lives these last few months have been a true gift from the Lord. … We are thrilled to join the family here, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Garrard was born in the small town of Gadsden, Alabama. At the age of twelve received Christ as his savior, and at the age of 17 surrendered his life to the Gospel Ministry. Garrard graduated from Pensacola Christian College with a Graduate of Practical Theology degree, and earned a Bachelor’s in Pastoral Ministry from Andersonville Theological Seminary, and a Masters of Ministry in Biblical Exposition from Andersonville Theological Seminary.
Garrard met his wife, Rachel, at Pensacola Christian College, and they married in 2003. They have four children: Adrianna, Emilin, Sam, and Luke.
After graduating from Pensacola Christian College, Pastor Garrard served as a Youth Pastor, and Assistant Pastor for more than 9 years in North Carolina, Alabama, and Pennsylvania, before transitioning into the Senior Pastorate of Harvest Baptist Church in Elizabethton, TN, in 2014.
When asked about his focus, Pastor Garrard stated, “Having served for 18 plus years in the ministry as a Youth Pastor, Assistant Pastor, and Senior Pastor, I developed a love for working with teens, children, and adults, ministering to their very distinct needs and stages of life. I have a vision for community outreach, discipleship, and growth, for both the individual, and the church as a whole”.
Garrard will only be the fourth senior pastor at Bainbridge First Baptist Church in the past 66 years. Senior Pastor Ken Wymer, served at the Church for 42 years, and was then followed by his son, Pastor Dan Wymer for 18 years.
“We have sensed the leading of the Lord in this process,” said Aaron Strom, chairman of the pastor search committee. “It’s with great anticipation God will continue his work through Bainbridge First Baptist Church under Pastor Garrard’s leadership.”
For six decades, Bainbridge First Baptist Church has been the spiritual home church for hundreds of believers from Bainbridge Island and the North Kitsap peninsula. It has been an integral part of the spiritual life of many, from youth to seniors, and with outreach to our community. The Church’s theme is “Preparing Lives for Today, Tomorrow, and Eternity.”
For more information, call 206-842-3022 or join us Sunday morning for worship at 11 a.m. (Sunday school at 10 a.m.), Sunday evening service at 6 p.m., and Mid-week service on Wednesday at 7 p.m.