By Sarah Shurge – To some, a job is just a job. It’s how you make money to pay for your bills. It’s how you spend eight hours of your day, then you clock out and go about your life. To others, it can have a different meaning. A job is your passion and what you dream about.
Larry Mack was in his mid-twenties when he had a dream to start a church. That church, Greater Dreams Church, just celebrated its 15 year anniversary this past year.
“I love our church. I love pastoring these people. Especially after the 15 year celebration. It was really a blessing,” said Larry Mack, bishop and pastor of Greater Dreams Church.
Mack was hesitant at first on having the anniversary party, but his wife, Regina Mack, convinced him otherwise.
“My wife Googled why you should celebrate things like this. It said it encourages pastors and lets them know they are loved,” said Pastor Mack. “She said we should celebrate milestones.”
Greater Dreams Church had not celebrated any anniversaries prior to this. The event took three months to plan, and due to short notice, they weren’t able to invite everyone they wanted.
“Being a senior pastor, I went in kicking and screaming because I don’t like special treatment,” said Pastor Mack. “Seeing that we made it through COVID, while a lot of ministries globally did not make it, made me feel like God’s hand was with us.”
Greater Dreams’ anniversary was on April 29th, however, due to various events throughout the year, the celebrations were held in November.
“God was in it because it really was awesome,” said Regina. “It turned out great.”
A pastor appreciation banquet was held on Saturday, November 19th. Then there was a special service at 11 a.m. on Sunday, November 20th. A speaker came in from Oklahoma City, the church received a letter from a senator, a letter from the governor, and the mayor of Wayne gave a speech.
“It was a beautiful thing. I’m very thankful and overwhelmed. It made me want to be a better pastor, and go further and be more effective,” said Pastor Mack. “It caused me to reflect over the years on times when things were tight. We had a lot of time when we went without. My ministry always came first.”
Mack started his church on Sunday, April 29th, 2007, in the Canton Emagine Theater.
“I spent a great deal of time praying and getting the word out there in regard to our church,” said Mack.
Greater Dreams Church is the first church Mack started on his own. He had saved $13,000 of his own money and after returning from a trip to Mexico, received a $10,000 check from a fellow minister, Elijah Smith.
With a $23,000 check, Mack was able to get the church started. About 12 years ago, they moved to the building in Wayne and started doing 9 a.m. services.
Since then, Mack has always put the building and the church first. Even through difficult times.
“Our praise and worship leader had a heart attack and was out for nine months. He had been there since the beginning and his salary was the main source of income for his family. I had to choose between the church, my house, or him,” said Pastor Mack. “I lost my house during that time, but I still paid him the salary. The building comes first.”
Mack has a reason behind why he made the decision that he did.
“Leaders eat last. That’s one of the principles I live by, take care of the house first,” said Pastor Mack. “Jesus is a servant. He always puts people before him.”
Taking care of the building isn’t always easy, but getting the church running wasn’t easy either.
“When we first got the building, the city didn’t approve of the building. So, we had church three weeks in a row at the park until the city approved,” said Pastor Mack.
During COVID, Mack was able to purchase the building. Since the building was closed with no in-person services, they were able to remodel the building, which they wouldn’t have been able to if in-person services were happening.
“I always keep my trust in God. I didn’t have a plan B. My whole life is wrapped around what I’m doing,” said Pastor Mack.
However, being a pastor wasn’t always his original plan.
Mack originally was in the medical field and part of the military. He served in the United States Army for three years and the Army National Guard for five years. His last year in the military, he was a Combat Medic and Command Sergeant Major Driver.
“I spent a lot of time in prayer until one morning when I was 23, I felt God speak to me and call me to become a pastor,” said Pastor Mack.
Mack has now been in ministry for 33 years.
Throughout the years, Mack has spoken at many conferences, went on missionary trips, has ministries in Africa, and hosted five television shows on Total Christian Television (TCT), which has reached 172 nations for 19 years. He has a ministry in Toledo, Ohio, helped start three churches (two of own), and has a ministry branch of city-wide bible studies.
“I really believe in what I’m doing. Helping people. Inspiring people,” said Mack. “Every time someone comes into the church I want to inspire them to fulfill that thing inside of them.”
Greater Dreams Church has its name for a reason.
“Our goal is to help people become more Christ-like and to reach your God-given dreams,” said Pastor Mack. “We’re all about dreaming the God-dream and teaching people to pray, fulfilling what God put inside your heart, doing what you love doing, and partnering with God in the mists of it.”
Mack has his doctorate in theology and is currently finishing his PhD in life coaching.
“Education is important to me, but it doesn’t take education to be successful or impactful,” said Pastor Mack. “I want to know the scripture and help people articulate it. I really believe in pouring into people. Giving people advice on mistakes I’ve made.”
Pastors are just regular people. They aren’t perfect, they make mistakes, they go through hardships, and most importantly, they feel pain too.
“When I went through a divorce, I was preaching with a broken heart for many years. Going through that rough period was a blessing to me,” said Pastor Mack. “When Regina came into my life, she helped me and inspired me. She really centered me. She makes things better.”
Regina is the assistant pastor at Greater Dreams Church. She does most of the church planning and deals with the church paperwork.
Mack and Regina have a son, Ethan Nicholas, whom they adopted when he was 4 days old. Mack also has two daughters, Micaiah and Mariah, from his previous marriage.
“The process that God put me through to get to this stage, we’re just getting started,” said Pastor Mack. “I want to be more effective. I want to get a more effective building for what we do. I’m very grateful for where we are but we’re looking forward to making a stronger impact for our city.”
Greater Dreams Church is located at 35118 W. Michigan Ave in Downtown Wayne.
There are currently two Sunday services, one at 9 a.m. and one at 11 a.m. There is a noon Bible study offered on Wednesdays and the church will also be starting small groups soon. Services are streamed online.
Every Tuesday the church feeds about 100 meals to the needy, and there are monthly church activities as well.
For more information about Greater Dreams Church, you can visit greaterdreamschurch.org or call (734)890-1315. For more information about Pastor Mack’s ministries, you can visit larrymack- ministries.com.