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  • Baptist Beacon

Dr. Garth Leno joins BSCM

by Dr. Tony L Lynn

PLYMOUTH, MI – Pastor Tim Patterson, the Executive Director-Treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM), is pleased to announce that Dr. Garth Leno has joined the state convention to help churches take their next step to accelerate Gospel movement. One of the highest values of the state convention is to strengthen leaders because they shape the culture and set the pace. That is why Leno will serve as the Pastor/Planter Care Specialist throughout Greater Detroit and Michigan. Patterson states, “Garth and Patty are two of the jewels in the crown of Canadian Baptist work, and will continue to shine brightly as they minister in the Canadian Convention and the Michigan Convention as well. We are beyond blessed to have such an exemplary couple help us accelerate the Gospel movement here in Michigan.”

Pastor Mike Durbin, the church strengthening leader for the state convention, offers his response to Leno’s arrival on the team. “With decades of transformative ministry experience as a pastor and church planter, Garth is uniquely gifted and positioned to use his gifts and abilities to encourage pastors in both Canada and Michigan. He and his wife Patty know firsthand the joys and challenges pastors and their wives face over the long-haul of ministry. Both conventions will be blessed in Garth’s role as Pastor/Planter Care Specialist.”

Pastor Wayne Parker, pastor of Merriman Road Baptist Church, Garden City, and the Send City Missionary for Send Detroit, responds with his observations when he says, “Our pastors have so many negative voices speaking into their lives, what a blessing to have an additional member of the BSCM family with encouragement as their primary ministry. Garth Leno and his wife Patty have servants’ hearts and a wealth of pastoral experience. Cindy and I count them as dear friends and know their investment in our pastors will be an encouragement to all of us.”

Dr. Tony Lynn, the church starting leader for the state convention adds, “I observed for seven years how people were drawn to the Lenos when they saw them at gatherings. I also heard others mention spontaneously how they were assisted or encouraged from their conversations with either Garth or Patty. So, when we learned about Garth’s impending retirement from the pastorate, I was hopeful we would find a way to redeploy their gifts and experience to benefit our pastors, planters, and their family members in Michigan/Detroit. I’m elated that many of us appeared to have the same dream and it is now reality.”

Dr. Leno, reflecting on his increased service in Michigan/Detroit says, “We planted a church with the Send Network in 2014, and ever since day one we have been encouraged and supported deeply and consistently by the Send Network and BSCM. It’s a great honor for us to care for the pastors and planters of Michigan.”

Leno most recently was the founding pastor and church planter of The Gathering Church in Windsor, Ontario, Canada until his recent semi-retirement. While increasing his family time with his wife, his children, and grandchildren, Leno will serve the pastors/planters and their families in the Canada National Baptist Convention and Michigan.

Leno received a Master of Divinity Degree and a Master of Theology from Trinity Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He was awarded the Doctor of Ministry Degree from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1993. After planting The Gathering Church in Windsor, Ontario, Leno went back to seminary to study church planting, and in 2018 graduated with a Master of Arts Degree in Church Planting from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Garth and Patty have served the Lord together since they were married in 1980. Leno led a small church while attending seminary in Chicagoland. Then they moved to Canada to lead established churches in Alberta and Ontario before planting The Gathering Church in 2014 in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.



Dr. Tony L. Lynn is the State Director of Missions for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before coming on staff at the BSCM, Tony served as lead pastor for more than six years at Crosspoint Church in Monroe, Michigan. He and his wife, Jamie, also served with the International Mission Board in Africa and in Europe.


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