WINTER HAVEN, Fla.—For five years, the people of Faith Baptist Church prayed for and gave toward a new building. On Sunday, July 4, the church broke ground for a multipurpose building that will house a high school–regulation size gymnasium, a commercial kitchen, classrooms, and more.
“To the praise of God’s glory,” as Pastor Nate Osborne often reminds the congregation, the $2 million building has already been paid for—in full. The building was designed by Furr Architectural and will be built by Rodda Construction.
Pastor Osborne says the building will first provide additional classrooms. “Right now we are at beyond capacity with our Sunday School. So the new building gives us a very valuable and needed classroom space.” He also points out that the church has no dedicated youth space. “The plan is to turn the fellowship hall and the kitchen into a youth room and café.”
The most multipurpose of rooms in the new building is the gymnasium. In addition to being a sports arena, it will serve as a fellowship hall in conjunction with the new kitchen. “It gives us,” says Pastor Osborne, “the ability to have the entire church eat indoors in one room. And we haven’t been able to do that for a long time. When people can gather and eat together, it truly facilitates for us the ability to get beyond the surface. It will service every age group for different functions.”
The gym’s bleacher section will seat over 500 people. Pastor Osborne says the gym “affords us the opportunity to do outreach in much larger ways. We’ll do Upward Basketball in there. We believe that that will be a huge event because basketball is big here. We believe that is going to really encourage a lot of young families and we’ll see many people saved that way.”
The July 4 worship service featured music, testimonies, Scripture reading, and praise. Although it poured rain all morning, the congregation was able to go outside in a light downfall for the actual ground-breaking.
Pastor Osborne says, “We are just thankful to God for allowing us to see His hand truly moving in this. The mere fact that He has provided for this building has been used as a tool in many lives.” People find it hard to believe the building is paid for. “It’s just to the praise of God’s glory.”