Today, Sunday, February 9, 2014 we celebrate our 102nd Church Anniversary at First Baptist Church LaBelle. The Lord has truly blessed this church during that time. In the last five years since the education building was built, God has done some remarkable things in our midst. God has opened and enlarged our ministry. We now have a pre-school with 70 children and their parents to whom God has given to us a ministry. Our Mommie and Me Ministry has expanded to 20 - 30 mothers and preschoolers. Several of these mothers are now taking leadership roles in Mommie and Me and others are leading Mommie and Me in other places because of their experience here at First Baptist. We have joined with other churches in our community in Operation Backpack where we are providing food for school children on weekends.
Our church in the past was used two days a week, Wednesday and Sundays. Now our church facilities are used 6 days a week. We have groups from the community that use our facilities for various ministries. Groups like - Relay for Life, Early Learning Coalition, Upthegrove Elementary School, FDLRS and others serve our community through this building.
When the decision to build our education building was made, we knew it would be a step of faith. Our state and nation was experiencing some of the worst economic times in a long while. We knew this project would have to be a God thing and it wouldn’t be something we could do by ourselves. We found that this church community would have to walk in faith in Jesus. We also made a commitment to God that we wouldn’t cut our giving or going on mission trips during this time. I believe because we have remained faithful to God and our standing commitment on Missions, God is providing what we need for the payment of our education building.
On December 10, 2008 we made our first payment on the education building. We pay $12,941.31 a month to finance this project. Our church sold $1,700,000 in bonds to finance this project. As of December 31, 2013 the principal we owe is $1,120,750.00. We have made great progress in reducing our debt and God is providing through using our church family and their faithful giving to our Building Fund.
We have done two stewardship campaigns which God used to pay down this debt. Our second campaign is ending in February 2014. Many of you have sacrificed in giving to the education building and the ministries it allows us to do. Your gifts to our building fund have been a blessing. In the days ahead we ask that you continue your sacrifices of Love that helps us continue and strengthen these ministries.
Reverend Frank Deerey, Jr
Pastor, First Baptist Church LaBelle