Who Is Our Pastor?
Pastor Donald Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, have been married for over 35 years. They have three children who are married, raising the Kennedy’s eight grandchildren, and all serving the Lord in full time Christian service in Illinois, Mississippi, and Eastern Kentucky as a pastor’s wife, pastor’s assistant, and youth pastor.
Pastor Kennedy is a 1978 graduate of Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Missouri. After graduation, he and Jackie started a church in North Mississippi and pastored there for over seven years. They went to south Mississippi and pastored there for over thirteen years. After pastoring for seven years in Central Illinois, they were called by LaRue Baptist to become their pastor in August 2007.
When I came to LaRue Baptist Church, I found a congregation who wanted someone to love them and be their pastor. Since coming here, I have tried to do exactly that with God’s help. As God has worked in our midst, I have found a group of people that as much as I love them, they love me twice as much back.
Pastor Kennedy has a pastor’s heart and is leading our church to remain committed to the King James Bible, godly music, and a life style that is characterized by holiness with compassion and a love for the souls of people regardless of race or sinful past.
Pastor Kennedy often reminds us that our first purpose in life is to glorify God. He teaches and preaches that this can only be accomplished through obedience to His Word and responding in a Biblical way to any circumstance of life we encounter.
What Do We Believe?
- We believe the Bible to be the preserved and inerrant Word of God. We believe the Bible that God has blessed for the English-speaking people is the King James Bible.
- We believe that salvation is by repentance and faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ through His death, burial, and resurrection.
- We believe that salvation is available to every person, that it is eternal, and that it is the solemn duty of every child of God to win others to Jesus Christ.
- We believe in the soon imminent, literal return of Jesus Christ for all who are saved.
- We believe in the local New Testament church as God’s ordained institution to evangelize the lost, to baptize them upon salvation, and to teach them whatsoever things He has commanded us.
What Is An Independent Baptist Church?
A denominational name serves to help identify where a church is on the theological spectrum. We have chosen to keep the name Baptist intact as it identifies us with the traditional doctrines Baptists generally have been known for through the years. We realize that some Baptist churches have or are moving away from these distinctions. Some have even gone as far as to drop the name “Baptist”.
LaRue Baptist Church still holds to the Baptist distinctions. These distinctions are based upon the Word of God. To help you understand our basic beliefs we have included an article concerning this on our website. To be an independent Baptist simply means that we choose not to align ourselves with any particular Baptist denomination or hierarchy. While we are independent of any outside denominational organization, we are dependent upon other churches of like faith for fellowship, encouragement, home and foreign missions, and other endeavors to reach our community, state, country, or world with the gospel.
If you attend any of our services, we would hope that the spirit you will encounter would be one of love and a desire to preach the Word of God and exalt the Lord Jesus Christ. That does not mean we do not preach on sin by name or are afraid to stand for who and what we are. But our desire is to magnify the Lord above our associations.
Just a note for anyone who is already acquainted with the Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) movement, we are not anti any “Baptist camp,” but neither are we exclusively aligned with one. We enjoy having many pastors, evangelists, and missionaries come and minister to us who are being used of the Lord in many different areas and localities. We have no litmus test for anyone to meet regarding any fundamental Bible college or group. We are not looking to fight or argue with our IFB brethren. Where ever your church or pastor has sought to identify themselves in this movement is their decision. We have no enemies or axes to grind within that movement. We do not desire to see that type of spirit brought into our church. As the pastor, I do know what I believe and have no qualms preaching the whole counsel of God to our church. I have three goals in mind for the ministry here. First, I want to please the Lord in my life and ministry. Second, I want to please my sweet wife. Third, I want to please the precious people the Lord has privileged me to pastor. If by some miracle I manage to accomplish that, then I am pleased.