The Blake’s have been in full time ministry since 2004. Until the beginning of August 2019, the whole 15 years they were missionaries with the Rock of Ages Prison Ministry. During that time, they started and developed most of the work here in West Virginia that still goes on today. The work at it’s peak had 24 prisons, over 20 public schools, 2 full time missionary families (including the Blake’s), and over 60 different local church volunteers. In the prisons most of the work was Evangelistic, holding mostly 3 day Revivals with the men, women, and young people in those facilities. The school ministry here was Bible Clubs and Character Classes, in the public schools.
Brother Blake also had the privilege to help local churches over the years Preaching in their revivals, youth revivals, youth rallies, Mission Conferences, Faith Promise Conferences, and many normal weekly services. Miss Michelle in addition to working with the ladies and juvenile girls, also had many opportunities to speak at ladies meetings and conferences in local churches. The Ministry here in West Virginia over all those years saw a total of nearly 6,500 professions of Faith!!! The Blake’s would have been completely satisfied to stay with the Rock of Ages, but after much prayer and counseling with their Pastor, felt the Lord was going to lead them to Pastor some day. Their family explored three different opportunities to Pastor, but none of them were the Lord’s Will. They heard about the great need of McDowell County, WV, to start a thriving church in Welch. In fact, there had been around 25 Independent Baptist Pastors and their churches, praying for God to raise up someone to accomplish this.
Mike and Michelle feel their family is the answer to the prayers of these pastors, and that it is the Will of God for them to move to the Welch area and start a Independent Baptist Church.
McDowell County has great needs as the poorest county in West Virginia, and the 5th poorest county in the United States. There is a lot of drug addiction in the county, in fact in 2015 they averaged more drug overdosed caused deaths percentage wise, than any other county in the nation. God and His Word is what McDowell County needs most. The Blake’s are excited to move there from Kanawha County, and follow the Lord’s leading to start the Living Hope Baptist Church in Welch, WV.