How God is Transforming Lives through the Different Ministries of First Baptist Church.
For more than 180 years, our church has demonstrated Christ’s love and ministry in Gainesville and far beyond. For the past fifty years we have enjoyed our ministries and our place here on historic Green Street. Our role in the life of northeast Georgia has been large, and in the recent decades our influence has dramatically expanded.
Our Faith and God’s faithfulness have created a strong and vital base of personal and corporate worship, witness and ministry. From this base, we launched the 3rd Century Master Plan for facility expansion and upgrades. With the dedication of the Banquet Hall in 2008, we completed the first phase of our 3rd Century Plan in our ambitious vision to make an even greater difference in our community. This beautiful facility is in wide demand from those inside and outside our membership. Thousands have made use of it through hundreds of events. More importantly, untold numbers of lives have been enriched and transformed through these facilities and the ministries they host.
Our Faith then enabled us to complete the second phase of our 3rd Century Plan that included the first floor as our dedicated space for youth and younger children. The new youth facilities have helped youth attendance grow from around 40 to more than 120. And the Preschool and Day School area went from less-than-adequate to superb and state-of-the-art, now with a current waiting list and full capacity of 190 children. This ministry also has helped attract younger families to the church. This phase also included additional space for music within our existing buildings. The new and renewed space provides first class venues where youth, children, orchestras and other musical groups gather to strengthen and share their faith in comfortable settings.
Story-telling is one of the most powerful forms of sharing our faith. And the thing about stories is, we all have one. Each of us has a story about how our church has enriched our lives and the lives of our families. In some cases our story is about how our church provided a safe place to mourn the loss of a loved one or to struggle with an addiction. Others of us give thanks to our church for being the place where our lives were transformed from empty or broken spirits into vibrant and vital proclaimers of our faith. Taken together, these individual interwoven stories have become Our Story.
Our Story is about how we are being faithful to our part of God’s work on earth.
Our Story is about how we are being good stewards of all God has entrusted to us.
Our Story is about the story of God and how God is using us and our facilities to help ensure that “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is heaven.”
Our Faith has provided us with the courage to take bold steps to ensure we have the needed facilities to grow our church and effectively minister in our community and beyond. We are experiencing the results of our faithfulness! Now, we are going to use the power of our individual and collective story as we move forward in faith to retire $3 million of the remaining $4.3 million debt on these facilities. During the next few months we will be sharing through stories how God has used our church to bring about life changing and lifesaving transformation.
(Between $200,000 allocated from our church budget each year and some anticipated special gifts, the balance of $1.3 million should be erased over the next few years. We can – and will – raise the money to eliminate our debt by the remaining $3 million.)
Our Faith. Our Story. Our Song.
Once this debt is eliminated, we will embark upon the final piece of our ambitious campus plan; the building of the long anticipated music suite. Music is part of the very essence of our fellowship. Currently, more than 435 people are involved in some aspect of our music ministry. From our weekly anthems and special music to our renowned annual Living Christmas Tree, the music ministry is a hallmark of our church and community life.
We all know that maintaining and running first class facilities is not cheap. By waiting until the current debt is retired before embarking upon this final piece, the amount of money that has been allocated towards debt retirement should more than cover the expenses related to maintaining the new music suite.
We are blessed to be in a place rich in obedience to God and faithful to our call to be true to Christ at home and around the world. The future surely holds countless stories of faith waiting to unfold. Now is the time to complete what we have already begun and thereby strengthen our future together. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength and will and vision.
Why We Must Finish Our Debt Now
- Good stewardship of the Lord’s resources demands it.
- New members of our church can share in the costs that have made possible all that we now enjoy together.
- When we finish the debt, we can begin our final project, the Music Suite.
- We will have much more freedom and ability in ministries and mission as we reduce our obligations in interest payments.