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Castaic welcomes new resident, pastor

Signal Staff Writer

Posted: May 15, 2009 7:40 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Lake Hills Community Church's new associate pastor Rick Baird with wife, Erica. The Bairds moved to Castaic after attending the church for two months.

There’s a new pastor in town. After a long candidacy process, Rick Baird has been dubbed the associate pastor at Lake Hills Community Church in Castaic.

The church has seen some major changes within the past year.

In November of 2008, Dr. Greg Harris, professor of Bible exposition at The Master’s Seminary, assumed the role of senior pastor.

According to the Lake Hills Community Church Web site, the institution has “recently completed a revamping to ‘get our house in order’ in an attempt to make sure this was a biblically solid church in all we do. God has blessed this process, which is an on-going process. So in a sense, we are almost a church plant all over again.”

With the addition of Baird, the church looks forward to its growth.

Baird recently moved to Castaic after attending the church for only a few months.

“I went to Grace Community Church in the (San Fernando) valley,” he said. “It’s a megachurch of about 10,000 people.”

Baird spent five years participating in the church’s ministry.

“I learned a lot there,” he said.

Baird’s move to Castaic was inspired by Harris, who has been a friend of Baird’s for about two years.

“We enjoy talking to each other,” Baird said. “We have a like-minded concept of ministry.”

Harris asked his friend if he would consider coming to Lake Hills Community Church.

Baird accepted the invitation and started attending the church in Castaic.

Baird was blown away by the church in every aspect.

“We (his family) came up here and met the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. We also have a better view than anyone in L.A. County,” he said about the church’s location. “We love the area, the people.”

With the church blossoming, Baird decided to get more involved and be a part of its development.

But first, he had to get himself hired.

“I preached for them a couple of times,” he said of the candidacy process, which took several months.

“It’s a process of me getting to know them, and them getting to know me.”

At the end of January, the congregation picked its new associate pastor. Baird started the first of February.

“As the associate pastor, my primary focus is family life,” he said.

The new associate pastor oversees the youth, children’s and outreach ministries.

“I will also oversee the care ministry, which involves hospital visitation, (something) I have a particular affection for,” Baird said.

Coming from a church of thousands to a church of fewer than 150, Baird looks forward to working with a tighter community.

“Here, it’s more like a family,” he said of Lake Hills. “There’s no way you can have an ongoing relationship with 10,000 people. Here, you can.”

The Lake Hills family welcomed the new pastor and new Castaic resident with a loving heart, Baird said.

“These people represent the love of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Baird said. “There is no love like Christian love.”



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