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What my church and pastor mean to me
Maxine Fallin - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
Live Oak Church of God in Hinesville has grown tremendously since its humble beginnings 61 years ago. It is one of the fastest growing, multicultural churches in Liberty County.
Maxine Fallin is delighted to be a part of this church.
"My parents and I were there when the church began," Fallin said. "I got saved at 13 and joined the church in 1955."
Although she moved away for 11 years, she always attended church when she came home to visit.  
"I moved back to Hinesville in 1969 and have been a regular attendee ever since," she said.
She is a member of the senior adult Sunday school class, secretary for the Young at Heart Ministries, and works with the children's ministry on Wednesday nights  
"My church has helped me to grow spiritually," Fallin said. "You need a church body. Ministers are always available if you need prayer. I could not survive without my church."
She said the church has a lot of outreach ministries and is very supportive of everyone.
"Anyone can come in and feel welcome. When you visit Live Oak, you will feel the love and the Holy Spirit. We have people of all races and nationalities. There is something for everyone."
Fallin said her pastor, Aaron Cowart, is a dedicated man of God.
"He and his wife, Christi, are dedicated to anyone in need, not just members of Live Oak. He is very spiritual and loves to preach the Word of God. He means lot to me."
Todd Hopkins has not been a member as long as Fallin. But he is just as dedicated to his church and pastor. He has belonged for three years.  
"Live Oak is a place to be refueled spiritually," Hopkins said. "It is a place of celebration and it gives you a sense of community. We are a multi-racial.
"We worship with all colors; blacks, whites, Samoans and Puerto Ricans. When you take the opportunity to worship with people of other races, you learn their culture."
He said his earlier churches did not motivate him.
"Being active brings accountability. There is a certain way you have to conduct yourself. However, things fell in place because of my commitment to God," Hopkins said.  
He came to Hinesville with the military.
"I am originally from Los Angeles, and my wife is from Savannah. We decided to stay here and raise our family. I chose Live Oak because I felt like I was home," he said. "Anyone looking for a church should not get caught up in the Sunday morning show. Seek out a church that is going to minister to you and your family."    
Hopkins said Cowart is a fine example of a man of God.
"Although he is younger than me, I have learned so much from him. Since knowing him, I am a better husband, father, member and employee."
Hopkins is a member of the Armor Bearer staff (12 men) and is a personal armor bearer to the pastor. "I assist the pastor in traveling and make sure he has what he needs."
He is also a member of the leadership committee.
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