By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
BOSSIER CITY – Five months after a fire heavily damaged three-quarters of its facilities, members of the First Baptist Church in Bossier City learned the details of the plan to rebuild its campus.
“God is leading us to move forward by faith,” Pastor Brad Jurkovich said in his Mother’s Day message, May 12. “What a moment. The story God is writing is one we all can share, and as we share we can give Him all the glory.”
During the service, Jurkovich reminded his congregation of God’s favor on them despite the fire, December 10, 2018: no loss of life from the fire; the baptism of 32 new believers; 40 other member additions; the launch of new ministries; and, greater unity within the congregation.
Jurkovich said the planning team decided not to replace all of the nearly 100,000 square feet of facilities lost in the fire.
“Our team began to ask, ‘Do we really need to rebuild that much space for effective ministry?’” he said. “The more space you build the more it will cost, and the more you have to pay in heating, cooling, and upkeep.
“We want to maximize the space and money we have and plan to use,” he said. “We want to rebuild in such a way that the flow and cohesiveness are very smooth for members and guests, security is maximized, and that our buildings communicate ‘families, warmth, life and relationships.’”
Approximately 65,000 square feet of lost space will be rebuilt. Plans include a new chapel that will incorporate some of the more traditional features of the original building, such as pew seating, but will include modern elements, such as capabilities for multi-media presentations. A team also is looking at how best to display the pulpit, Bible and piece of the steeple that survived the fire.
“Our new chapel is going to be an exciting venue that will help us encourage and equip families in marriage, family life, and a place to walk through various seasons of life with families from our church and community,” he said.
Jurkovich also outlined plans for the new children’s and student ministry buildings and other projects. Demolition is underway, and construction could begin as soon as fall 2019. A grand opening and dedication is planned for fall 2020.