The Rev. Reginald Bachus is the new kid on the block, figuratively speaking.
Bachus, 43, has served at the helm of First Regular Missionary Baptist Church, 1646 Vt., for the past two years. That's a mere tick of the clock when viewed against the backdrop of the congregation's historical presence in Lawrence -- it'll be 135 years in October. And though his ministry has really just begun at First R.M. Baptist, the church's members are glad to have the youthful pastor as their spiritual leader.
"Many times in small churches, people think (the pulpit) can be a stepping stone to something bigger. But they understand I'm serious about what I do, and I plan to be here," said Bachus.
He is pleased with the way things look two years after his arrival at First R.M. Baptist, the first church he has led as pastor.
"We are making tremendous progress spiritually and financially. That could always be better, but I'm pleased with where we are," Bachus said.
Participation is on the upswing, and efforts are under way to increase the involvement of children and adults in the Sunday church school.
"There was a regular attendance (at worship services) of about 20 people when I started here. The church was definitely in transition and in search of leadership," Bachus said.
Attendance at Sunday services is typically 85 to 100 people these days, he added.
Reginald and his wife, Detra, live in Kansas City, Kan., and have two children: Reggie, 19, a sophomore at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas; and Regina, 17, a junior at Sumner Academy in Kansas City, Kan.
Bachus is in Lawrence each week serving the congregation of First R.M. Baptist from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays, from 3:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays, all day Saturday and Sunday mornings.