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The 1970’s was a decade of great growth for Meadow Hills Baptist Church. There were also trials, but the young congregation continued moving forward through prayer, determination and trust in the Lord.
God called Dr. James Zaspel to Meadow Hills in the spring of 1971. Under his leadership the church grew to over 400 members. During those years, a third building was constructed on the Blue Spring church property; it housed a gymnasium, recreation room, church kitchen, missions apartment, conference room and an office for Greg McLaughlin, the new youth pastor, who joined the staff in 1972. The first youth group started with only six young people, but under Pastor McLaughlin’s insightful leadership, attendance on many weekends grew to over 100 young souls. After graduating from seminary in 1975, the young pastor returned to his home church in Normal, Illinois.
A year later, in 1976, Dr. Zaspel responded to the Lord’s calling to return to full-time evangelism, and resigned as pastor of Meadow Hills. His replacement was Dr. George Nulph, who pastored the church from July 1977 until February 1979. Once again, bereft of leadership but trusting in God’s plan, the Meadow Hills congregation had one name in particular on their minds—Greg McLaughlin. They asked him to return to Meadow Hills, not as a youth pastor but as the senior pastor. He and his wife Shari returned to Huntsville in August 1979.