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It’s nearly impossible not to notice the large red brick structure that is being built on the front of Crittenden Baptist Church on U.S. 25.
The new building, which measures 105 feet by 114 feet, will be used as a multi-purpose area.
“We want this to be for whatever the community needs for it to be,” said Minister Bill Page. “Whether it be for tutoring or community meeting space.”
Crittenden Baptist’s congregation, according to Page, had been exploring and praying about an addition for nearly 10 years.
He said that during the city’s (and county’s) rapid growth phase about five years ago church members felt the need to grow too.
“The church was actually talking about it before I got here, then got serious about six years ago and voted four years ago to build and now it’s becoming a reality,” Page said.
Construction began four months ago and should be finished by Christmas.
“It won’t be a completely finished product when we’re done,” Page said. “Because we are moving forward in stages.”
The first phase of the project will cost about $700,000.
“This has been a huge financial endeavor and we’re trying not to go into debt anymore than we have to,” he said.
With an average attendance of 175 on Sunday mornings, Crittenden Baptist wants to grow their life groups to better serve the area around the church.
“We want to be proactive and meet the needs of the community and the congregation was on board with that,” he said.
He said when the economy does rebound, Crittenden Baptist wants to be ready.
“Facility wise we will be ready,” he said. “For now, we want to identify what the community’s needs are.”
The new structure may eventually be turned into a sanctuary, but for now will be used to house life group meetings and Sunday School rooms. It will also have a large, open space for recreational purposes.
Page said that life groups include new ministries. For example, when members felt that a food pantry was needed, a group started one. When a group of men found out a disabled woman in the community needed a deck built, they built it.
Another group distributed water and snacks to soccer teams at Sherman Elementary.
“We really feel that God has been working in our church and it’s all to prepare us for what is to come,” Page said. “And we want to be a blessing to our community.”
The church’s focus for the next year is simple – love God, love people and serve better.
“People need to understand that even in churches there are problems because we’re not perfect and never will be, but we live by grace, but we need to be doers of the word and not just hearers and that way no one can fault us for not trying,” Page said.