DODGE CITY, MI – The story of New Beginnings Baptist Church began with a vision. Allan and Vilna LaVigne are church planters in Dodge City. Vilna LaVigne says, “I should say I was very nervous about becoming a church planter.”
But God gave Allan LaVigne this vision for the people of Dodge city. Somehow they had to build a church and get the people to attend of Dodge City to attend. The LaVignes didn't have the finances to do a big outreach and initially they no idea what the outcome would be. Vilna says, “I just know that prayer was the only way. So I prayed for God to please help us in anyway he sees fit. I prayed for my husband that help would come to him.”
Many people told the LaVignes that building a church in Dodge City was a big mistake. Vilna adds, “ I was really scared at times that we weren't going to be able to get off the ground. I confess, I cried many nights asking God to please let his will be done.”
God never left the LaVignes during this time of uncertainty. He sent many people to lend a hand. With support from the North American Mission Board, the Baptist State Convention of Michigan and the Bay Area Baptist Association, the LaVignes have begun to fulfill God’s plan of starting New Beginnings.
The church planting couple took every training that was available, and even had other people from other churches come and help. They did a few different ministries and outreach events to let the community know that they were there. Vilna says, “We wanted them to know that we weren't looking for anything from them except friendship and fellowship. We were there to share the love of God and to meet their needs.”
Allan LaVigne was always seeking God's wisdom and guidance, and came up with a few ideas. They held a family movie night once a month, and a Christian skate night once a month, which allowed them to get to know the people in the community. The outreach efforts were a big success. Vilna says, “What joy filled our hearts to be a blessing to so many people with a simple act of kindness. There are no words to describe the happiness.” She adds, “There were times when I became very discouraged because I didn't know how we were supposed to make this work and questioned what God has called us to do. But by following through on our vision, God has touched many lives.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vilna LaVigne and husband Allan, are church planters at New Beginnings Baptist Church in Dodge City, MI.