Almost two years ago, Bethlehem Baptist Church in Taylorsville, N.C., was struck by lightning, triggering a fire that destroyed most of its facilities.
Plans for Bethlehem Baptist Church include a new sanctuary, baptistry and prayer room. “It is our desire that these facilities will honor God, and that He will bless them to be powerful tools to impact our community and world for Jesus Christ now and for generations to come,” said Wayne Caviness, senior pastor.
Sun., June 11, members broke ground on new facilities to include a sanctuary, family life center and educational space.
“Our community has been amazing,” said Wayne Caviness, senior pastor, in a press release sent to the Biblical Recorder. “Fire departments from Alexander, Catawba and Caldwell counties, EMS, law enforcement, county personnel and many business and community volunteers helped save the educational building from a complete loss. These efforts were just the beginning of an overwhelming outpouring of love and support.”
The church invited the community to a special groundbreaking service followed by worship and a meal.
A fire, ignited July 18, 2015, after multiple lightning strikes, destroyed two-thirds of the church’s facilities. Read the Biblical Recorder article about the fire here.
“Our location has changed for a while,” Caviness said, “but the God we serve is never-changing, and we are continuing in the mission to which He has called us.”
The day after the fire in 2015, the church met at Bethlehem Elementary School for its Sunday worship.
The church continued to meet at the school until renovations were completed on the remaining portion of the building Dec. 20, 2015.
The large cross, which displayed painted messages and is considered a landmark that many identify with the church, was unharmed in the front yard of the sanctuary. To make way for the new construction, the cross was moved to the front of the existing youth house building.
Winstead Architecture and Moss-Marlow Building Company were chosen for the projects.
In addition to much prayer, discussion and a church-wide needs assessment, the building committee visited numerous churches to determine God’s direction for the project.
Winstead Architecture took the input from the committee and produced architectural renderings for the proposed construction, which were presented to the church on July 17, 2016.
“We were blown away by what they did,” said Dwayne Simmons, building committee chairman. “We never really talked about a ‘look.’ We expressed the needs we wanted the facility to meet, and turned it over to them. The results far exceeded our expectations.”
The new facility includes a 9,000-plus-square-foot sanctuary, a new baptistry and prayer room as well as a centralized welcome center. The new family life center will accommodate a basketball and volleyball courts, a commercial grade kitchen and storage for tables and chairs.
Nearly 20,000 square feet of administrative and classroom space offer room for the church to grow.
Moss-Marlow received working drawings for the construction in November 2016. Once these plans were accepted, they went through an approval process with Alexander County.
“We are excited about the plans for a new worship center, educational space and family life center,” Caviness said. “It is our desire that these facilities will honor God, and that He will bless them to be powerful tools to impact our community and world for Jesus Christ now and for generations to come.”
Contact (828) 495-7250 or visit bethlehembc.org.