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Church Merger Offers Hope of Thriving


Unity Baptist Church, Wayland, Mich., ordains Kelly Ryan (front, second from right).

WAYLAND, Mich.—In an answer to prayer, two churches in Michigan have merged. Sycamore Community Baptist Church in Dorr merged with First Baptist Church in Wayland. The new work is called Unity Baptist Church and meets at the site of the former First Baptist Church in Wayland. Kelly Ryan, who was pastor of Sycamore Community Baptist, is now pastor of Unity Baptist Church.

By combining their resources, staff, and members, the merger gives the two small congregations “an even greater hope of thriving,” Ryan says.

“First Baptist Church of Wayland, Michigan, had a beautiful building and a handful of members, while Sycamore Community Baptist Church of Dorr, Michigan, had a little more than a handful of members but with no building to call their home,” Ryan says. Sycamore Community Baptist had been meeting in an elementary school since it began in December 2011.

“Both groups sought help in prayer—Sycamore Community Baptist Church for better facilities, and First Baptist Church for a helping hand with more people,” says Jerry Hopkins, former associate pastor of the Dorr church. “The joining of these two groups has answered the prayers of both groups.”

Unity Baptist Church ordained Ryan Sept. 16. His ordination service will take place Oct. 30.