‘Building the kingdom,’ FBC breaks ground on new student center

Published 9:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

NATCHEZ — Heavy rain softened to a light drizzle at the groundbreaking for a new student center at First Baptist Church in Natchez on Wednesday.

The youth of First Baptist Church in Natchez celebrated with their adult church family, taking turns swapping umbrellas with golden shovels and getting their pictures made behind the back wall of the Family Life Center facing the church parking lot.

It will soon be a construction site for a more than 5,000 square foot building to house student classrooms, a kitchenette with a lounge area and a place for worship.

Email newsletter signup

Student Pastor Matt Martin said the church is planning to grow.

About 30 kids participate in the youth group and the Family Life Center, where they currently meet, holds 40 to 50 students. The new student center will double that capacity.

A small courtyard will connect the new student center to the Family Life Center at the back of the church, he said.

The church appointed a special building committee and selected Blanton Construction Company and Waycaster & Associates architects to oversee the project.

Funds for the estimated $1.2 million building project were primarily raised by the church congregation. An anonymous donor gave a substantial donation to the church with the stipulation that it put to use for a new student center, said Adrian Sandel, who chairs the special building committee.

Then, during the Sunday morning offering, the church took up donations and soon had everything they needed for the project to move forward.

“We thought it would be hard, if not impossible, to raise $500,000 on one Sunday morning but we did it. How did we do it? Because as the song says, God makes a way where there ain’t no way,” Sandel said. “We need to continue to pray. We will continue to work; we will continue to pray; and we will continue to do God’s bidding for this project. Why? Because it’s important work—and I don’t mean the building of a building. I mean the building of the kingdom.”