For six years Pastor Rickey T. Laster has led the flock at New Assurance Baptist Church. For some time he’d been feeling the pull into a higher level of ministry, but it wasn’t until he began working in the church that he heeded the call. He served as the associate pastor and the experience garnered in that role equipped him for the call on his life. When his brother in law, Pastor Brown of Blessed Assurance, relocated and he was chosen to replace him, he was prepared for the assignment. New faith Baptist Church combined with them and they adopted the name New Assurance Baptist church to give respect to both ministries. During his time as pastor there has been tremendous growth. 300 souls have been baptized under his leadership and he counts that as his greatest success as a pastor.
This success is attributed to the church motto, “We exist to help hurting people find a new hope, a new way, and a new life through Jesus.” To help hurting people you have to be an expert on the subject and the things he experienced in his life deems him an expert. “Drug abuse, Alcoholism, and the many things we experience before Christ prepares us to minister to those God will send our way,” Said Pastor Laster as he described how his life experiences affect his ministry. He has taken his life experiences and combined them with the power of God to develop New Assurance into a safe place to worship; where the lost can come out of darkness and into the Marvelous Light.
With all his accomplishments as a pastor, Laster feels his greatest struggle has been putting together a strong leadership team. “Running a church is too cumbersome to do it alone and to micromanage it would only put more of a burden on you as a pastor.” So, he dedicates time to develop leaders and is blessed when God sends him leaders such as Elder Moten, who can work without the pastor looking over his shoulder. Moten is the Associate Pastor and it is his job to handle the mundane duties of the church which allows the pastor to freely minister to the congregation. “My job is to make the pastor the best pastor he can be,” said Moten as he described his role in the church.
Because of their strong leadership team New Assurance Baptist Church is able to run a stellar food ministry in which 2500 people are fed monthly; a jail ministry, a sick and shut-in ministry, and a bereavement ministry. Amongst the many services offered through this church there is the Mother’s Board. This group of senior mothers take time out of their schedules to mentor, train, and nurture a younger generation of women. They discuss proper attire, behavior, and offer advice when needed.
Pastor Laster and New Assurance Baptist Church strive to maintain a ministry for the hurting people. They are a strong bible based church with a dynamic music ministry and a high energy praise service. God is adding to the church and Pastor Laster definitely foresees moving into a larger facility. In a mere six years God has blessed him to accomplish many things and he is looking forward to serving the Lord and the community for many years to come.