Fellowship Baptist building life center

Published 5:46 pm Monday, March 23, 2009

Concrete workers smoothed wet cement Monday morning as ministers for Fellowship Baptist Church talked about the potential their new 19,000-square-foot center will offer to the church and community.

“Our youth have never had a space of their own,” said the Rev. Stanley Phillips of the church, which is located approximately 10 miles outside Bainbridge on Spring Creek Road. “We’re finally building them one.”

The $1.4 million “Family Life Center” will include a basketball court, a volleyball court, several classrooms, offices and a game room that may offer members of the community several options such as aerobic classes for women, Phillips said.

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The steel structure will also be an emergency shelter and Red Cross evacuation center, he said.

“We are making it a real multi-functional building, but the whole idea is to minister to the people,” Phillips said. “That’s what we want the building to become, is to minister to the people in our community.”

Phillips said they plan on allowing youth and teenagers to have concerts and to reach youth and teenagers in the community through events in the building.

Rob Coram, the church’s minister of education, and Steve Brooks, the church’s youth minister, say the fast-growing church’s needs for expansion will be met with the new building. Currently, Sunday school classes are scattered throughout their existing buildings, including holding one in the kitchen.

During a recent sportsman banquet when 1,000 were served, Phillips said 500 were allowed to eat in the church’s existing fellowship hall and another 500 persons had to eat in a tent, despite bad weather that evening.

The church has a membership of approximately 900 and on an average Sunday, attendance is approximately 500, Phillips said.

The new building will be the fourth building project of the church in more than 14 years.

Phillips said they hope to save $400,000 to $500,000 by having workers with Builders for Christ come in waves to complete various stages of the project. The first wave of volunteers is scheduled for June 6 when they are to frame the inside of the building. Another team will come in to complete the electrical, plumbing, and heat and air-conditioning work. A final volunteer team will come in to complete the sheetrock.

The church is also inviting members of the community to assist in the building.

They hope to have the building finished by the end of the year.

Phillips said some have questioned the timing of the project, but the church has been debt free for approximately three years, and he said they are taking advantage of lower building material costs and low interest rates if they should have to borrow money.

“The only good answer is that it’s in God’s timing,” Phillips said. “It’s not a ‘man’ building. It’s a God building.”