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The Deaf Shepherd: How Pastor Born With Hearing Loss Is Making a Difference in Michigan

The Deaf Shepherd: How Pastor Born With Hearing Loss Is Making a Difference in Michigan

Pastor Scott Blanchard baptizes a female worshiper at Lakepointe Baptist Church, which holds its services at Lutheran North High School in Macomb, Michigan. | (Photo: Facebook.com / Lakepointe Church)

Launching the church

In October of 2009, the Blanchards held a preview service for their new Lakepointe Church that was attended by about 80 people. They held preview services once a month before the official launch in March 2010, where 300 people attended.

Lakepointe holds its services at Lutheran North High School in Macomb.

"In my church, I have no deaf people — only me," Blanchard said, joking that he can only hear 20 percent of the complaints. "We have been growing and we continue to grow. We are up to 250 [average attendance]."

There are a number of ways that Lakepointe is giving back to its community.

Among them is a food pantry that the church runs at its office ministry center during the week. According to Blanchard, the church hands out about 2,500 pounds of donated food to area families in need.

Lakepointe has also partnered in the launching of two other church plants in the Detroit metro area. One of the newer church plants is in the town of Mount Clemens, a town where many suffer from poverty.

Through the church plant in Mount Clemens, Lakepointe aids in giving away about 200 meals to feed over 1,000 people for Thanksgiving every year.

Additionally, the church holds an annual summer outreach festival.

Blanchard said that the church plans to soon get involved in helping the efforts of an anti-human trafficking nonprofit. As well, Blanchard said that church does a lot of volunteer work with the local parks and recreation department.

Ready for a permanent home

Having existed for over a decade, Blanchard and the Lakepointe community are ready to find a permanent home.

The church began raising funds to put toward a down payment for property. Since registering for the crowd-fundraising app Pushpay in January 2016, the church has raised over $450,000 toward its goal.

According to Blanchard, about 50 percent of the money the church has raised has come from the app and from other online donations.

Although the congregation doesn't yet have any prospective properties on its radar, Blanchard said the congregation wants to have enough funds available to offer a down payment once something does become available.

"We are in a fast-growing community so when something becomes available, they are not going to wait six months for us to have a campaign to have a downpayment," he said. "We are looking for a building or a space that we can renovate."

Blanchard has come a long way since the days of his childhood. Looking back on those times, Blanchard says that he can see how God has used him to fulfill His will despite all his fears and obstacles. Blanchard is confident that God will continue to pave the way for the next chapter in the Lakepointe ministry.

Follow Samuel Smith on Twitter: @IamSamSmithFollow Samuel Smith on Facebook: SamuelSmithCP

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