Calera family starts Lakehills Church

Pastor Josh Howell and his wife, Jamie, with their three girls Katie, 2, Lauren, 6, and Anna Beth, 8. (Contributed)

Pastor Josh Howell and his wife, Jamie, with their three girls Katie, 2, Lauren, 6, and Anna Beth, 8. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer 

CALERA— The Howells have lived in Calera for 11 years, and despite having many opportunities to leave the area, they’ve never wanted to. Now, the family is planting additional roots in Calera, by creating Lakehills Church.

“We’re looking to start Lakehills Church and, really, our vision for the church is to be a lasting church that loves helping people connect their lives with God,” said Josh Howell who will serve as Lakehills’ pastor.  “We really don’t think that you should just attend church, but that we are the church.”

It’s a belief that is even more important to Lakehills because it won’t have its own physical building. Howell did say NXS Gymnastics, off Alabama 70, has offered its dugout space to the organization, but he hasn’t signed a lease. Howell does know the church will be based out of Calera.

Although Howell doesn’t plan to have its first official service until January, Howell and his wife, Jamie, have met with about 45 people who have expressed an interest in the church. They’ve been privately meeting with families and individuals, sharing their vision, goals and plans for the church.

“It gives us the opportunity to share our heart and let people to get to know us, and for them to express interest and what they are looking for in the church,” Howell said.

He said they really want to create an atmosphere where people are actively participating and connected to the church, not just people who want to be involved on Sundays. They have been reaching out through friends and family members, through ads in the newspaper and online and through the church’s website, which is already up and running.

“We’ve been encouraged and it’s caused even more excitement because of the interest that we’ve had,” Howell said.

He said they would really like to have 75 people as a minimum within the church, and also want to have about 250 present for the first service in January. Once the services get going, Howell said they plan to start rolling out small groups.

“It’s really just about building relationships and building community,” Howell said.

Howell and his wife Jamie have three girls: Anna Beth, 8, Lauren, 6, and Katie, 2.

For more information on Lakehills Church, visit lakehillscalera.org or call 427-7425.