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What my church and pastor mean to me
Pastor Owens
Pastor Owens - photo by Photo provided / Coastal Courier
He grew up in Savannah, but Hinesville has become his home. A member of First Baptist Church, Charles "Chuck" Stewart is proud to call First Baptist his church home.
"I came to Hinesville in 1973, and have seen the community grow," Stewart said.
He has been a member of First Baptist for 34 years. He retired as principal of Brittin Elementary School on Fort Stewart in 1995.  
"I have served in many positions of the church," he said.
He is a deacon and teaches the Senior Adult Sunday School Class. He also serves as the chairman of the personnel committee, and has served as the chairman of the Deacon's Ministry.  
"My church is where I get strength and guidance," Stewart said. "The church is very inspiring. It is spiritually fulfilling, and it gives me an opportunity to serve God. Most of my closest friends are part of my church."
One of those friends is the church's pastor, Dr. Charles "Chuck" Owens, who shares the same first name.
"My pastor is a dear friend," Stewart said. "Working with him, I have an opportunity to see the church grow, both spiritually and physically.
"Not only is he a good preacher, he is a good pastor. He commits himself to the needs of the people. I see him as a visionary."  
Although one of the largest churches in Liberty County, Stewart said First Baptist has an atmosphere of a close-knit family. "People coming in sense they are among friends and family. The church is growing and we are excited about the growth of Hinesville and Fort Stewart," Stewart said.  
"On Feb. 24, the church will have a 'dream night.' We will be sharing our dreams and vision for this church in a growing community, which is heavily influenced by a military population."
Tamara Martin and her family are newcomers to the First Baptist Church family, having joined in August. They moved to Hinesville from Broken Arrow, Okla.  
"My husband (Greg) came to Hinesville in May 2007 for an interview with the Liberty County School System. We went to the church on Saturday and met the pastor's wife (Amy Owens). She was so friendly," Martin said.
Tamara and her husband attended First Baptist Church the following Sunday and subsequently returned to Oklahoma.
"After our return to Oklahoma, we received a letter, card, email and telephone call from the church. We were very surprised. When we relocated to Hinesville, we attended various churches, but were led to First Baptist," she said.
Martin said the decision was made on the spirit of the congegation.
"I wanted to be a part of the church family. Both my husband and I are now teaching Sunday school and life-support classes. First Baptist has a lot of ministries," she said.  
"Pastor Owens is a very strong leader with a lot of faith. He is very caring and dedicated I highly recommend First Baptist as a church home," she said.  
The pastor and members of First Baptist Church on Washington Avenue invite you to join them for services, including four on Sundays; 8:20 a.m., 9:40 a.m., 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. 
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