Wednesday, March 28, 2012

TOP STORY >> Expansion plans by Cabot church

Leader staff writer

First Baptist Church of Cabot is expanding to Jacksonville with the opening of its first satellite church, The Venue at Chapel Hill, at 11 a.m. Easter Sunday, April 8. The Venue was formerly the Chapel Hill Baptist Church at 1409 Madden Road.

First Baptist Church associate pastor Dave Morley said Chapel Hill Baptist Church has been active for 50 years. Last year, First Baptist Church assisted Chapel Hill with its anniversary.

Through meetings and conversations between First Baptist Church senior pastor Greg Addison and Chapel Hill pastor Mike Douglas, First Baptist Church wanted to help revitalize the Chapel Hill church, whose membership had become stagnate.

Pastor Douglas will continue to lead the Chapel Hill church. The sermons will have same messages as the Cabot church. The messages will be recorded at the First Baptist’s 9 a.m. service and brought to Chapel Hill and shown later in the morning in addition to the live worship service. Chapel Hill will have a live band during worship. The church will also have Bible studies for children and adults.

Morley said First Baptist Church of Cabot continues to grow, but cannot expand because it is landlocked. The church does not want to move out of downtown.

“The strategy is not to build more buildings, but expand the church at other locations,” Morley said.

“We don’t want to spend money for brick and mortar; we want to plant more churches and launch new campuses for more people to come to. A healthy growing church can help a church that is in decline,” he said.

Morley said First Baptist is a strong worship and family ministry. The church has age appropriate teachings for youngsters.

“We’re big on family. It’s all about children, students and marriage,” Morley said.

He gave several reasons for First Baptist joining together with Chapel Hill.

“It’s close to (Jacksonville High School). We look forward to ministering to military families. We have a large commitment to the military. We have strong military presences here,” Morley said.

He said First Baptist Church children’s pastor Ron Pierce is a chaplain with the Air National Guard. Family pastor Greg Hooper leads the military ministry.

First Baptist will continue to help support the work of the chaplains at the Little Rock Air Force Base.