|First Baptist dedicates new facility to the glory of God|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
Around 220 people gathered Sunday morning, March 24 for worship, fellowship and the dedication of the new First Baptist Church facility located on the southeast edge of town at 1000 E. Johnson St.
The special service was a time to reconnect with current and former members, friends, community members and those who helped with the building process.
Guest speakers Dr. Paul Borden, director of the Rocky Mountain Church Network, and Pastor Gary Jones, who served the church from 1990-2006, both emphasized that the new facility is merely a tool to be used for God’s glory and to reach out to the community.
Dr. Paul Borden of the Rocky Mountain Church Network encourages the congregation to look out the windows and doors of the new church during his prayer that they be community-minded, using the church as a tool for God’s work. Pictured from left are Borden; deacons Darrell Tomky and Mark Farnsworth; pastors Gordon Penfold, Ismael Lopez and Chad Rozelle; and deacons Curt Schroetlin and Efrain Becerra. —Enterprise photo
Ivan Wiebke, Allyn Robinson and Mark Farnsworth were presented with plaques for their dedication and work on the process of building the new church. Jim Kienholz also received a plaque for the many hours he spent at the building site, supervising and coordinating the construction of the new church.
Others who served on the building committee were Olga Conde, Troy Killin, Leon Atkins, Jean Clayton and Curt Schroetlin. Many of the congregation also dedicated much time to construction, painting, cleaning and decorating.
Ivan Wiebke presents Jim Kienholz with a golden broom and a plaque for his hours of work at the new facility, including keeping the church neat and clean during the construction process.
In its 125-year history, this is the third building for Holyoke First Baptist Church. The first two, both located at 343 S. Baxter Ave., were built in 1893 and 1928.
The church broke ground on the new $1.6 million facility in July 2011, with the first services held the weekend of Jan. 19-20 earlier this year. The 14,000 square feet offers a large auditorium that seats 240, a big fellowship hall, multi-purpose/youth room, nursery, offices, kitchen and several classrooms.
Former First Baptist pastor Gary Jones takes time to catch up with Mary and Jay Bohlender. —Enterprise photo
The congregation has moved into the new building debt-free, with plans to continue adding furniture/decorations, landscaping and a parking lot.
Holyoke Enterprise March 28, 2013