SIDNEY — Grace Baptist Church, 137 W. Edgewood St., will be holding the grand opening of its new facilities Sunday, May 19. All are welcome to attend, with the service starting at 10:30 a.m. and Bible classes for all ages at 9:30.
The grand opening is being held to celebrate the addition made to the church — a new auditorium. The new, larger auditorium has 400 seats, and lets the entire congregation join together in one room. The old auditorium was converted into a 250-seat fellowship hall, along with a complete renovation of existing facilities.
Other additions include two new lobbies, four new bathrooms, along with a newly-installed state-of-the-art audiovisual system installed by Low Voltage Solutions of Sidney. The children’s ministry and facilities have also been upgraded and state-of-the-art security cameras were installed. Construction on the facility was completed by Westerheide Construction of Sidney.
Grace Baptist’s pastor, Jim Alter, a longtime resident of Sidney, said that this new expansion has come about as a natural result of a steady increase in people attending the church. The church was founded in 1951 and has met at this location since 1954, with only 19 members then. Today, the church has grown significantly. In its 68-year history, they have only had two pastors. The church has been updated through the years, undergoing expansions three times before the more recent changes.
Starting six years ago, Grace Baptist experienced considerable growth, which led to an update to the old auditorium five years ago, adding 50 seats and updating the interior. Then, three years ago, after more growth, 70 seats of overflow rooms were added with the service relayed through video screens in rooms adjacent to the auditorium.
The old space was filled with current members, so in order to grow the church body, the building needed to expand. This new addition has come about specifically to reach out to more of the community. Alter said this comes out of love for the people of Sidney, for their work ethic and character and out of a desire to be a blessing and help.
Outreach is a focus at Grace Baptist, through both missionary support and events like the Fair ministry or the popular Trunk or Treat held every Halloween. Trunk or Treat has been a great success, bringing in nearly two thousand people from around the area for a fun time for kids to receive plenty of candy and the Gospel message.
The desire for outreach was repeated by Alter, who emphasized the purpose of the new addition is to provide more room to reach new people and give more opportunity to reach the community with the Gospel.
“The heartbeat of Grace Baptist Church is introducing people to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and then teaching them verse by verse through the Scriptures,” Alter said.
Alter also felt thankful that Grace Baptist was not the only church in the area bringing this message but stated that he believes there is a need for Grace Baptist to expand. Alter extended an invitation to visitors, saying “you’re invited to the grand opening of Grace Baptist’s new building on May 19; in fact, you’re the reason we built it.”
For more information call 937-492-9061 or visit gracebaptistsidney.com.
The writeer is a summer intern with the Sidney Daily News.