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Lakewood Church pastor to retire

The Rev. Mark Sawyer will celebrate his retirement as pastor at Lakewood Community Center at the worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, followed by a potluck lunch, at 5097 Scribner Road in Bemidji.

Sawyer started the Lakewood Community Church in 1996. The church has grown from members meeting in each others homes to a church located on 10 acres of land in Wilton. In 2008, Sawyer was diagnosed with a rare brain disease that took a toll on his ministry. After 20 years of service, he will retire and pass the pulpit to the Rev. Keith Willard, a member of Lakewood Community Church for 12 years and a youth pastor for 10 years.