Temple Baptist ready for worshippersAfter two years of construction, the doors to the new Temple Baptist Church building at 1200 12th Ave. NE opened to worshippers for the first time Sunday.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
After two years of construction, the doors to the new Temple Baptist Church building at 1200 12th Ave. NE opened to worshippers for the first time Sunday.
“It’s been a long time. It really has,” said the Rev. Randy Jaspers, Temple Baptist pastor. “People’s reactions — they are pretty wowed when they come in.”
The 18,000 square-foot octagonal building is double the size of the old Temple Baptist Church, located at 1545 Fourth Ave. NW. The old building had just 8,000 square feet of space, plus a youth building of 1,000 square feet.
After blowing out a wall in the sanctuary and moving to two services in 2002, the congregation of Temple Baptist still didn’t have enough space.
Their building had hosted its first worship service in 1966, and it had been quite serviceable at the time — but by 2002 Temple Baptist Church had simply outgrown its space.
There wasn’t room for children’s Sunday school, for fellowship or for parking. The sanctuary sat 200 people — sometimes 300 would attend church on a Sunday.
Church officials saw it coming, and purchased land for the construction of a new building in 1998. Fundraising began, and so far the church has raised about half of the structure’s $2 million cost, through capital campaigns and other methods.
Construction began in fall 2009, and though some detail work is not yet complete, the church officially opened for business and services last week.
“We just get tremendous response from our community,” Jaspers said.
The building is spacious, with a large entryway that doubles as a fellowship hall, 10 formal classrooms, two nursery/toddler areas, five bathrooms and a large kitchen with a pantry. The sanctuary has 400 seats and a skylight.
Large glass doors to the sanctuary from the entryway can be pulled back so extra people can be seated in the sanctuary. Large wooden panels at the front of the sanctuary can be pulled back to allow access to the Zone, a youth area where sets for dramas or props can be kept.
The building has also been loaded with new technology, including wiring for video and data alike. Projectors and a screen have been built into the sanctuary, both for the congregation and for people running the services at the front of the sanctuary.
Carpets will be added to the dyed concrete floors as time and money allow, and some projectors have yet to be installed in the sanctuary. The baptistry, located at the front of the sanctuary, still has a temporary cover — when the real cover is in, it will be nearly invisible when not in use.
“We want to put a fireplace in one of the adult rooms,” Jaspers said.
Acoustic treatments need to be added in the entrance area, and shelving and flooring needs to be added in some classrooms.
“From the beginning, we’ve tried to emphasize that this is not about a building. It’s about people, and constructing a facility that will help us reach out to people,” Jaspers said. “As beautiful as the building is, it is secondary to the ministry.”
A formal dedication and open house for the community will be at a later date.
Worship at Temple Baptist Church begins at 10:30 a.m., with Sunday school at 9:20 a.m. For more information, call 952-0822 or visit www.jamestowntbc.org.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at email@example.com