First Baptist of Ash Grove sets sights on new building

The First Baptist Church of Ash Grove has seen some monumental growth recently. Over the last five years, they’re membership has increased from 75 to 95 active members to about 250 to 275 active members. As a result, they’re looking to build a larger church building to accommodate their rising numbers.
Rev. Kevin Baker, pastor of First Baptist, said the need for more space has been something the church has sought divine guidance on for about two years.
“When the church reached 80-percent capacity, we started praying for God to open up land to purchase for a new facility,” he said. “After two years of praying and searching, God opened the door for us to purchase 65 acres with a house on the land in August of this year.”
The land is on the north side of 160 highway, just north of Ash Grove Pharmacy.
Baker said the church is looking into how to best make use of the land they’ve purchased. As part of this, they’ve visited other church buildings to see what might work best for First Baptist.
“We have been taking different ministry leaders to churches getting ideas for a new structure and are currently meeting with architects to start the design process,” he said.
Baker also said the church has some big plans for their new building.
“The future plans are to build a 500-seat sanctuary and areas for offices, classrooms, children’s department and a worship space for our youth department,” he said. “The new church will also consist of an activity building to host special events with a commercial kitchen. We are also planning a smaller chapel to accommodate weddings, funerals, and functions in which the main sanctuary would be too large.”
The church also intends to have athletic facilities in the building and on the church grounds.
“We are planning having an upwards basketball program in the gymnasium for the area along with a soccer field for upwards soccer on the external grounds,” Baker said.
In addition to their new building, Baker said First Baptist will also build an outdoor venue.
“Our plans … also include having an outdoor area with a pavilion and restrooms to host annual events such as 4th of July celebrations, Back-to-School bash activities, and various outdoor activities,” he said.
The timeline of the new building’s construction had not yet been determined. Baker said it will depend on when the church has the funds and opportunity to proceed.
“All of these things will be done in phases as the funds and timing permit,” he said.
The purpose of the new building, said Baker, is not only to accommodate a growing congregation, but to also help them serve the people in the area.
“Our desire at Ash Grove First Baptist is to reach our community with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to have a functional facility that can meet the growth of the church,” he said.


Lawrence County Record

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