YoungstownOH_INYOUNGSTOWN, Ohio—Boardman Baptist Church will soon enjoy an expanded facility, thanks to the generosity of its members and the ministry of Baptist Church Planters.

Construction started in June 2013 to add a new sanctuary, offices, and choir room, and is expected to be completed in September 2014.

Boardman Baptist Church saw the need for facility improvements in 2000 and initiated a Joash Building Fund, utilizing a handmade wooden chest to collect donations. The fund’s name, says Pastor Dennis Massie, is based on the Old Testament passage about King Joash repairing a temple. Members’ contributions will cover $600,000 of the expansion’s one million dollar cost, while a loan will cover the rest.

The construction work is being done by Martin Eaton and Dale Murphy of Baptist Church Planters, based in Grafton, Ohio. BCP assists in the planting of Baptist churches and the revitalizing of struggling churches throughout North America. Church members are also volunteering to help.

“Eaton spent a dozen years as a pastor and more than 40 as a missionary builder,” reports The Vindicator of Youngstown. “Eaton has worked in some 25 states and participated in some 50 to 60 projects. Now 74 years old, he said the Boardman church may be his last. But, he noted, ‘the projects keep me young.’ He said the church projects are ‘challenging’ and allow him to ‘be creative.’”

After the project’s completion, the current sanctuary will become a fellowship hall.