The pastor of one of the area's largest Southern Baptist churches announced Sunday he is leaving Augusta for a church near Greenville, S.C.
The Rev. Frank Page told about 800 people attending the evening worship service at Warren Baptist Church on Washington Road that he will become the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Taylors, a suburb of Greenville.
His last Sunday at Warren Baptist will be Jan. 28, he said. His first in Taylors will be Feb. 4.
Dr. Page, 48, said Sunday that he didn't seek the job in Taylors, but "I felt it was what God would want." He prayed about the decision.
"It was the call of the Lord," he said.
He was recruited after a group of church members heard him speak during a lecture series at North Greenville College. The Taylors church has been without a permanent pastor since the former one retired about a year ago. Since then, the church has had an interim minister.
Dr. Page said the congregation at Taylors Baptist "wants to change to become more innovative and mission-involved."
Warren Baptist has developed one of the most active mission groups in Georgia, he said. Each year, church members embark on six to 10 mission trips to areas such as Ecuador, Nigeria and Mexico.
That, he said, has been his greatest accomplishment during his almost 10 years at Warren Baptist: "To turn a church that was probably inwardly focused into a church that is truly focused on missions."
During his tenure at Warren Baptist, weekly attendance has grown from about 600 to 1,500. That, he said, makes it the largest attended Southern Baptist Church in the area.
Also during that time, church membership has increased from about 1,500 to 3,200.
He hopes to see that kind of growth at Taylors. Now the church as about 4,000 members, but the average weekly attendance is 1,200.
Dr. Page said a pulpit committee will be formed to search for a new pastor.
He said he chose the evening service to make his announcement to cause the least disruption among the congregation.
Reach Jennifer Miller at (706) 823-3338.