I can hardly believe it. If you have been around over five years you may find it hard to believe too. We are actually going to have a ground-breaking for the new sanctuary—Sunday evening April 22. It will be a very special service, partly indoors (for a baptismal service) and partly outdoors (where the ground is). Why the amazement?
In my journal dated March 4, 1986 I wrote, “Sunday morning (March 2) we went to three services at BBC…I think we have purchased a max of two years at three services…Lord, put it in the heart of your people now to rise up and plan firmly for growth! Thank you for Dennis Smith!”
That was four years ago last week. But did you know that a “Long Range Planning Committee” had been working for 19 months before that—since August 1984! We are not exactly a hasty church when it comes to major decisions. The arrival of this ground-breaking on April 22 is one of the most patiently pursued, cautiously considered, unprecipitous events in the history of this church.
On Wednesday April 4 at the quarterly All Church Strategy Meeting the church voted unanimously 1) to contract with Shaw Lundquist Construction Company to build the new sanctuary (interestingly, the heir to the firm that built our present educational building), 2) to raise the spending cap of the entire project 5%, and 3) to make Dennis Smith (church chairman) and David Laurion (chairman of the Trustees) Authorized Representatives for signing documents pertaining to building.
Closing with Shaw Lundquist is anticipated in a matter of days and the actual construction start would happen about 14 days after that. So it really does look like it is going to happen. How I thank God for so many hardworking people, especially Roger Fast, the quiet, hard working chairman of the Building Committee. We would not be where we are without his tireless, and persistent labor.
It is a thrilling thing that, because the bid came in lower than we hoped, we are able to include the full basement and the full balcony as well as air-conditioning (there are no opening windows!) and door canopies. This will push all of us to give 100% of our pledges. And since some people inevitably give more during a fund drive, it will help tremendously if new people that have come to BBC since April 1988 will pitch in as well. (Watch for the announcement of the dinner and program for new people.) I pray that there will be a sense of historic and joyful purpose welling up in our congregation. Let’s remember the meaning of SPAN—Spreading Praise to All Nations. One who lived for that goal taught us well. His name was William Carey. He said, “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.”
There is so much to tell you. But I will save some things for the weeks to come—things about a possible new radio ministry, things about a church goal being worked on called "2000 by 2000," etc. etc. God is answering your prayers for your church. Please keep it up.