It has not been an easy road for Dublin First Baptist Church (FBC). The congregation’s journey to start a new site has been the subject of much discussion and prayer.
“We’re trying very carefully to not create two churches,” said Cameron McGill, senior pastor.
But Dublin FBC (dublinfbc.org) had reached its capacity for people in its current location.
Cameron McGill, pastor of Dublin First Baptist Church, is part of his church’s effort to launch a new site on April 20.
Easter Sunday is the launching point for The Lake Church at White Lake (Whitelakechurch.org), a ministry of Dublin FBC.
The town of Dublin is not a bustling metropolis. In fact, in the 2010 U.S. Census, the population was measured at 338 people, which is about the average attendance for FBC on Sunday mornings.
The church looked at building but it was going to be $2-3 million for a facility.
“That just doesn’t seem like good stewardship,” McGill said.
The White Lake site was born out of a “vision to reach our county,” McGill said.
Even introducing two services on Sunday morning at Dublin FBC was a shock to the church’s members, but McGill said the decision was about drawing more people into worship. The new site is about a 20-minute drive to White Lake. It launches April 20. Dublin FBC members are praying during the 40 days leading up to the launch.
“It’s neat to see people getting excited,” said McGill, who mentioned that several visitors have come in the last few weeks to Dublin FBC and specifically asked questions about the new site. They will be renting a facility at White Lake. Because the venue was going through remodeling at the time of the decision, Dublin FBC has been involved in choosing elements to help the services, such as sound and lights.
About 40 core families have committed to go with the White Lake site to build the ministry. Because the area has a lot of part-time residents McGill said they are not expecting the site to have monstrous attendance but do hope it will grow to have 100 regular members. Currently, he said, there are three churches in Bladen County that run 300 or better.
Dublin FBC will use its bus to transport people who want to take part in the main campus’ activities during the week or on Sunday night.
McGill said the church has been a solid church for a while, planning senior citizen trips, buying land and purchasing a new bus every couple of years. But mission trips and partnerships “have radically changed how we do church,” he said.