When Luling native Pastor Earl Adams Jr. was growing up he had a fear of public speaking.
"I hated it. I couldnít stand to talk in front of people," Earl said. "Coming up in school and everything, I was the type of person Iíd rather take a bad grade and not do it than have to speak."
It was only after he started attending a local church 21 years ago that he began to overcome that fear of speaking in front of others.
Earl started off slowly, becoming involved in the ministry along with his wife Lynelle as a youth pastor about 17 years ago, a natural fit for a couple that has five children. He later became an associate pastor.
He never expected that he and Lynelle would start their own church, but last year they opened up their home to the community.
"We decided to tear out a wall and enlarge our living room because one of our daughters had moved out. We told her, ĎYou canít come back home weíre tearing the wall down to your room,í" Lynelle said. "After that we decided to put the church in our house because we couldnít find a building in St. Charles Parish that fit us."
The two continued their youth ministry, but for the first time also began their own family congregation in the 40-seat makeshift worship space in their home. Such were the beginnings of the non-denominational Lordís House Community Church. Although Lordís House is an independent church, Pastor Mike Mille of White Dove Fellowship of Gretna provides oversight for the Adams.
The Adams both work jobs outside of the church. Earl has been employed at OxyChem in Luling for the past 22 years and Lynelle runs a salon out of their home named All Dolled Up. They said they started the church to try to assist the community they are so much a part of.
"Our goal is to reach as many people as we can to share the word of God. To help heal families, to help prepare families, to help bring our community closer to God," Lynelle said. "That has been our whole goal for as long as weíve been in this."
Lynelle said part of her outreach has been as a volunteer for Next Generation, giving pizza parties at Hahnville High School for the past five years.
She said their ministryís involvement with the youth of the parish has been an organic process.
"God has always seemed to bring us teenagers who have been in trouble or right before they get into trouble. Itís kind of an emergency room type thing," Lynelle said. "Half of the kids call us Mom and Pop and they just come into our lives. We believe in investing in other people."
Earl said making the change from a youth ministry to a full-fledged church has had an effect on the way he preaches.
"Iíve been a youth minister for 17 years at least. Being a pastor is different. It feels different. I donít know how to explain it," Earl said. "I guess some things you really have to do before you understand them."
Now that Lordís House Community Church has been open nearly a year, the Adams have decided to move into a bigger space in what was formerly the Willowdale Country Club.
"The building was half of the country club. Itís been a couple of different things over the years," Earl said. "Itís been an aerobics place and at one time it was a restaurant/bar."
After three moths of renovations, the church opened for their first service in the new building on Feb. 1. Now they are preparing to hold a grand opening.
"We never really advertised because it was in our house and we tried to keep it small because we knew we couldnít fit that many until we got a building. So now we are ready," Lynelle said. "We are going to have a dinner after the service."
Earl said the personal change he has experienced since his early years has been remarkable, but he is happy with how things have turned out.
"I love doing it and I will always love doing it," Earl said. "Itís just amazing how God takes you on a journey and changes your life and the very things that you think you would never do a lot of times are the things that God calls you to do."
Lordís House Community Church will be holding their grand opening with a luncheon to be held afterward on Feb. 24. Services will begin at 10 a.m. and the church is located at 500 Willowdale Blvd. in Luling.
Although the Sunday services are now held in the new location, the youth ministry will continue to be held at the Adamsí home at 220 Mimosa St. in Luling on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.