Alabama pastor is adjusting to life at Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in Londonderry
LONDONDERRY — There may be a lot of differences between New Hampshire and Alabama, but Craig Little, the pastor of the Christian Fellowship Baptist Church, said he believes the evangelical message his church spreads can gain a major foothold in the North.
Little is an Alabama native who pastored at two churches in his home state before heading north 10 months ago for the position in Londonderry.
In the southern states, there can be evangelical churches of the same denomination on the same block, while in the North, evangelical churches are a much rarer sight, according to Little.
However, he said, that fairly open slate can give the Christian Fellowship Baptist Church and others like a clearer ability to spread its message.
“I do believe there is an opportunity for the evangelical churches to be healthy up north,” said Little. “The message, when it is all boiled down, is that there is hope for your life and a loving God created you. We are trying to make God and the scripture known to people and spreading a message of hope.”
Little lives in Derry with wife Allison and his three daughters; Abby, Kyndal and Anna Claire.
Before moving to New Hampshire to accept the pastor position, Little said several people filled him in on life in the North, and not always to the most glowing reviews.
“The people here have been a lot more open and welcoming than I had been led to believe,” he said.
In the South, Little said people tend to wear their hearts on their sleeves but can be a little more coy.
“They have a tendency to look at you and tell you everything is fine,” he said. “In the North, people are more plainspoken, and it can be refreshing.”
Little also said it can sometimes be difficult for a pastor in a new church to be accepted immediately by the congregation, but he said that hasn’t been a problem in Londonderry.
“They have accepted me and my family and treated us very well,” he said.
Ultimately, he said it is the people of the congregation and not the pastor that makes a successful church.
“A congregation is a vibrant and positive thing in the community because of the people,” Little said. “I have learned that over the years.”
As Little continues to help grow the church, he said he wants to use his background as a youth pastor to help expand the children’s and youth ministries.
“We want the opportunity for families to know that their children are getting the message,” he said.
Little said the church is looking at hosting a children’s camp on its Rockingham Road campus as well as introducing programs to bring teenagers together.
Through it all, Little said he will remember what brought him to God’s calling in the first place, loving people and loving God’s message.