“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with his own blood”.-Acts 20:28*
This past weekend our church opened the second phase of our expansion and boy it was exciting! My family attended the morning service and sat in comfy theater chairs in the new worship center. From the lighting to the acoustics to the new building smell, it felt warm and cozy. Hard to imagine a terrific storm was raging outside during this particular worship service. As I looked around I realized two revelations; God is good, and our church family was dedicated to making this expansion happen.
For the last few years, our church has engaged in a campaign challenging our members to give above and beyond their normal tithing in order to expand our church physically. This would allow our church to build relationships, grow, and offer more services to the community. Our senior pastor, Dr. Waylon Bailey, and his staff had the forward thinking of providing a way to connect with people in our community and offer a safe place to play, shop, and commune with one another.
First Baptist Church of Covington now boasts an indoor playground for all the little ones to enjoy. This option will be so needed on those hot southern Louisiana summer days! What a great way for our church members to enjoy their investment and as a church, we can open our doors and invite families in to let their children play and minister to all of their spiritual needs. Another addition is the Equip Bookstore which aspires to be the premier Christian bookstore in our area. I love our local bookstores, but I am thrilled to have access to Christian reference material and the ability to ask theological questions of a knowledgeable staff. Now, who doesn’t like a cozy café to buy your favorite hot or cold beverage, a little snack, and settle into a nice cushy chair to either chit chat with a friend or fall into a great book? Our church now boasts the Connect Café’ and partners with a local coffee company to bring you delicious drinks and tasty treats. Throughout the common area are comfortable chairs where one can sit, visit, or read quietly. All of the new features at our church are open every day of the week except Fridays.
The Worship Center is a beautifully designed theater-style venue which seats about twenty-three hundred. It is large but has the feel of an intimate family room. Not only will we worship there every Saturday night and Sunday, but it will be able to accommodate musical concerts and special events. Hopefully, we can attract some big-name bands to perform shows in little ole’ Covington LA!
When it is all said and done, this is a structure with space and services to use as a way of inviting the people to come and know Jesus. A church is about the people who are dedicated to honoring God and His wish to love thy neighbor. I am proud to be part of a church which opens its doors and says, “You are welcome in this place as you are” and cultivates relationships with each and other and with our Father. If you are ever in the Northshore area, look me up, and I will give a grand tour of my church home. Blessings!
*The Holy Bible, New International Version Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society