OKAHUMPKA, Fla.—The congregation of Berean Baptist Church is excited about what God has done with their small congregation. “The Lord has done a mighty work here,” says Pastor Terry Weaver. The church celebrated God’s blessing with a dedication service on Sunday, Nov. 14.
Berean began 20 years ago with five individuals who called Bill Jenkin to be their first pastor. Under his leadership, the congregation purchased property on Main Street in Leesburg. When the Lord led the Jenkins away, the church called Herb Rogers as pastor. Then in November 2003, the congregation called Pastor Weaver.
He says the church always “had a heart to relocate” because they couldn’t really grow where they had purchased property on Main Street—“it’s sort of Church Row, with a lot of churches in the area,” he explains. “Whenever they went out on visitation, everyone seemed to be going everywhere else. So their desire was to relocate where there was greater potential for growth.”
In 2008 the church sold its campus on Main Street and moved into a renovated home. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Hales then donated that house and 6.1 acres. The house will be used by visiting and furloughing missionaries. The new church building sits on some of the remaining acreage. Its auditorium seats 250, and the church has plans to build a walkway from it to a future multipurpose building.
Pastor Weaver says the congregation has a mind to work, but even with a vast vision of what God can do in their new location, the congregation needed help. They called in the missionary builders of Continental Baptist Mission and the Nehemiah Group, retirees who help construct churches. The actual building began in February 2009 under the leadership of CBM missionary builder Mike Carr. The building was finished in April 2010, and the church held its first service there on Easter Sunday.
Dedication Sunday began with a combined Sunday School and morning worship service. Bill Jenkin, president of Continental Baptist Mission, was the keynote speaker. Music was provided by Classic Praise. And Mike Carr spoke in the evening service. Festivities included affixing a cornerstone and presenting a donor plaque.
Pastor Weaver says, “Primarily we’ve been focused on relocating and building. Now that all the other is done, outreach is our priority.”