Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 20, 2019

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First United Methodist Church of Andalusia held a consecration ceremony for their newly built children’s facility, Sunday.

Rev. Brennan Peacock said there were already sounds in the building on Sunday that showed the building will be used for the right purpose.

“As soon as I opened the door, I could already hear children laughing and running around,” Peacock said. “These sounds will be part of the sounds of this building and I am proud and grateful that so many young people and parents are here today. We have pledged to God and their parents that we will be their family, raising them in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”

Ground was broken on the new 6,500 square foot addition on Oct. 28, 2018. The building will provide classrooms, a play area for children, a main entrance and a new lobby that will provide direct access to both of the church’s elevators. It will also include security and will incorporate technology into the learning environment.

The architect of the project, Chuck Jones, said he could feel the excitement during the consecration ceremony.

“I have grandchildren now,” Jones said. “So, I’m thinking about how wonderful it will be to have a place to go and learn about the love of Jesus Christ. It is really great to see this building come into fruition.”

Peacock said from the very beginning the building was brought about for God’s children.

“From the very outset, it was placed to be used for God’s children,” Peacock said. “It’s not just any routine building, but this is a place where children will be born and shaped and that was part of our work from the very beginning.”

Owner of Wyatt Sasser Construction, Wyatt Sasser said that he could already hear children running around.

“From the beginning, we knew it was for the children even while we were constructing the building,” Sasser said. “When I rounded the corner today to come to the ceremony, I could already hear the small voices and footsteps of children. I knew that was God’s answer right there. It is what he intended it to be and I know that is what you guys will use it for the coming days and coming years. I teach third, fourth and fifth graders in Sunday school and it is educational to me every weekend. We have a great time and I know these kids will love the building.”

When head of the building commission, Billy Bergfield, looked around, he said he saw the fruits of several people’s hard labor.

“There are so many people that I couldn’t even name them all,” Bergfield said. “We started planning this about three or four years ago and there have been so many people that have had a hand in this that I can’t even count. I have heard people say that children are our future, but for the church, they are our present. I am extremely proud of what everybody has done and I can’t thank you all enough for the honor of letting me be a part of it.”

Former pastor Timothy Trent said the building is a fulfillment of every baptismal pledge he has taken.

“I couldn’t help but think of the baptismal vows of all the children that I baptized over the 11 years that I was here,” Trent said. “Part of the baptismal covenant, which the congregation responds to, is that we will take on the responsibility of teaching our children and having a place to teach our children. To me, this building is a fulfillment of that pledge.”

Peacock said without former Rev. Jason Thrower’s leadership, the project would not have been possible.

“I am especially grateful that Jason could make it today,” Peacock said. “I know that he walked with the congregation through some very difficult times in preparation for this, but I also know they were good times. For that, we give God thanks.”

Thrower said it was exciting to be back and see the finished product.

“It is exciting to be here and to see plans and dreams come true,” Thrower said. “Just to see what God has done is truly humbling. I am just excited for the future of this great church.”

The church also announced that they will begin providing an afterschool program beginning this week. “Come and See” will be every Wednesday afternoon from 3 p.m., until 5:15 p.m., ages pre-k through fifth grade. For more information, contact 334-488-5696.