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Church breaks ground on new building

Rev. Allen Stephenson addressed the congregation of the First Baptist Church of Georgiana from a mud-pit Sunday afternoon.

That mud-pit located across the street from Georgiana’s Alabama Power office will become the home of the First Baptist Church of Georgiana.

Stephenson opened the occasion with a prayer and then a reading from I Chronicles, Chapter 28, in which King David was upon by God to build his house. Because he was a man of war, he was not allowed to do that so he relinquished it to his son Solomon. He told Solomon to know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind for the Lord searches all hearts. Consider now for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary. Be courageous and act.

That’s what this group did.

&uot;The building that we will break ground on today will be the fourth on this particular location,&uot; said Stephenson. &uot;A lot of people have been instrumental in making this happen.

"King David believed and was called Today we come with Faith that God will do what he has promised to do in his word and that is supply those who seek him.&uot;

According to Jerry Peak, the building chair for the church, this has been an ongoing project since 1996.

&uot;It’s been 10 years, and it’s well time to do it,&uot; said Peak. &uot;This church is not just going to be for us, it’s going to be for the whole community. We want to edify Christ. We don’t want to downplay anything about it. I only had a very small part. You the people in the support of the church have done this.&uot;

Stephenson also thanked J.C. and Marilyn Sims for allowing them to meet in the old G'ana Theatre until they get a sanctuary built.

The occasion was also marked by visits from Gary Swafford of the Alabama Baptist State Conventions State Board of Missions and by Jim Griffin who is the Director of Missions for the Butler County Baptist Association.

&uot;It certainly is a joy to be a part of this,&uot; said Swafford. &uot;We started thinking and praying about this a long time ago. This place looks different now. But just remember this that Jesus said upon this rock I build my church. His rock was the faith that people have in him. Your faith and the history that you have in this place will be what your church will be built upon. I want to encourage you and say thank you for being faithful. The day has come for us to build a new building so we can minister now and into the future. The church is made of living stones. We are the living stones on which our church will be built.&uot;

Griffin also stepped up and took the floor.

&uot;We certainly rejoice with all of you in this day that has come,&uot; said Griffin. &uot;We want to assure you that your associational family stands with you as begin and go through with this endeavor.

We know this building is going to be an instrument through which God will work. We are excited for you and are going to be doing everything we can to help you.&uot;

The group of bystanders also had the opportunity to hear from Georgiana First Baptist’s oldest member – Charles Joyner.

&uot;Like one of the old comedians used to say, when you get old enough to run the school, you’re too old to play the games,&uot; said Joyner. &uot;We are going to see a fine church going up here.&uot;

After all the speakers were finished speaking, Stephenson thanked Randall Simms for preparing the site on which the church will be built. Then the shovels were handed out.

Peak, Sarah Taylor, Eddie Holder, Lucille Maraman and Joyner took up the golden shovels and walked to the edge of the carpeted path. The group then broke the ground and tossed the dirt.

Construction on the facility is set to begin as soon as the weather clears and according to Stephenson should take anywhere between six to eight months.