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Pastor returns to Georgia after ministry in England


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent 

  A family with ties to south metro Atlanta has recently moved to Henry County after a five-year adventure across the Atlantic and is looking forward to a fruitful ministry here.

  John Anderson is the new pastor of Pinecrest Baptist Church in McDonough, located next door to Regal Cinemas and directly across I-75 from Henry Town Center. His first official Sunday service was Oct. 6.

Pastor John Anderson sits with his wife, Sara, and their two children, Titus and Sydney, at Pinecrest Baptist Church. Anderson officially started as the church’s new pastor on Oct. 6.

Photo by Monroe Roark

  John grew up in Coweta County, where his father has been pastor of a Baptist church in Newnan from more than two decades. He and his wife Sara have two children, Titus and Sydney.

  Before coming to Henry County he was pastor of Chelsea Community Baptist Church on the west side of London since the spring of 2008. Starting with a Bible study group of eight people, the church grew to more than 100 every Sunday. A transient congregation, the church saw more than 50 different nationalities represented during Anderson’s tenure, with more than 30 on any given Sunday, he said.

  The church in Chelsea took a huge step in recent years and acquired a permanent home in a building that dates back to the 1800s, was rebuilt after World War II and was actually scheduled to become an Islamic cultural center.

  To give some perspective on how crucial a step this was, consider that the Anderson family paid more than $4,000 per month to rent a 1,200-square-foot apartment. The vast majority of the congregation lives in one-bedroom flats in a city that may have the highest real estate costs in the world.

  The family grew to love the people in the Chelsea church and moving stateside was an emotional time, but they are excited about living in Henry County and ministering at Pinecrest.

  Titus (fifth grade) and Sydney (second grade) have adapted well to Creekside Christian Academy, which is located on the Pinecrest campus, after being homeschooled in London.

  All four family members, and especially the children, are getting used to subtle vocabulary differences back in the U.S. They are learning or re-learning to say “trash” instead of “rubbish,” “tennis shoes” instead of “trainers,” “GPS” instead of “sat-nav,” and “cell [phone]” instead of “mobile.”

  “It’s an adjustment,” said Sara. “But we’re getting there.”

Pinecrest has been in existence since 1962 and relocated from Morrow to Henry County in 2004, meeting in the Dutchtown school complex for more than two years until their current building was constructed.

  “Pinecrest will continue its heritage,” said John Anderson of his goals for the ministry. “We will love God, love the community, and reach out to others. We’re excited about serving the Lord here. “

  He acknowledged that there are a number of good churches in Henry County in addition to his new pastorate.

 “We won’t try to be what they are, and we won’t try to be different, “ he said.  “We will be what God wants us to be. “

Pinecrest Baptist Church is at 175 Foster Drive in McDonough. Its web address is



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