Pinelake Church was established in February 1971, starting in a home on Bay Park Drive in Brandon, Mississippi. The first worship service was held on March 21 as Rankin Baptist Chapel with 32 people in a mobile chapel on Spillway Road.
JC Renfroe, Director of Mission for the Rankin County Baptist Association, served as the first Interim Pastor from 1971 until February 10, 1974. On February 17, 1974, Gary Watkins was called as Pinelake's first full-time Pastor and served until 1976. Lannie Wilbourn served as Pastor from August 1977 until July 1995. In March 1997, Tommy Politz was called as Pastor and led Pinelake until July 1998.
In January 1999, Dr. Chip Henderson was called to lead the congregation and the church began experiencing explosive growth. In February 2000 the leadership of the church was led to begin an aggressive search for a new location that would provide the necessary room.
In November 2000, the church purchased 170 acres of land on Lakeland Drive.
Significant numeric growth continued as the new campus was built and the congregation prepared itself for relocation. In the next three years, the church would grow to five services and welcome almost 2,500 people to worship every weekend.
In November 2003, the new facility was completed and Pinelake held its first services at the new location.
Through 2004 and 2005, weekly attendance increased by 1500 people, bringing the Sunday attendance to more than 4,000.
In 2006, the Pinelake Elders and Senior Leadership Team expanded through launching additional campuses in Mississippi. This emphasis would drive the church to pursue the vision of “expanding its Jerusalem.” In the fall of 2006, the church launched the second Pinelake campus in the Madison/Ridgeland area, meeting in Ridgeland High School. In January 2009, Pinelake launched its third campus in Clinton, Mississippi. In 2011, the fourth campus in the Starkville area launched. In April 2012, Pinelake Madison opened its permanent home in the Gluckstadt community of Madison County. In 2015, the fifth Pinelake campus was launched in Oxford, Mississippi.
In addition to launching a multi-site strategy, the church has made a significant investment in next generation ministry training, church planting, global mission expansion and resource development. Pinelake's 11-month Ascend internship program and Church Planting Residency attract numerous qualified applicants each year.
Pinelake is a church committed to being a movement of Christianity where people expectantly live out Christ-centered, spirit-led, ongoing stories of life change. The church's mission is to help people in Mississippi and around the world live out this vision of life change by developing Christ-followers who learn from Christ, live in Christ, and lead others to Christ (L3).
With more than 9,000 people in attendance each Sunday, Pinelake is known for its commitment to biblical, life-application teaching and modern, celebrative worship.
In 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2012 Pinelake was ranked one of the fastest-growing churches in America by Outreach magazine. Outreach also named Pinelake to its "100 Largest Churches in America" list in 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
- Pinelake website http://pinelake.org/