BOLIVAR – Last month, the members of First Baptist Church, Bolivar, completed a $3 million project to improve their facilities. They held an open house on Jan. 14 and celebrated the potential for reaching their community made possible by these facilities improvements.
The building project, which included improvements in the church’s children’s area, was part of the congregation’s “Beyond Us” strategy – a plan to reach out and bring transformation to their community and beyond.
“We’ve focused on putting in some new infrastructure,” Billy Russell, pastor of First Baptist, Bolivar, told The Pathway. “But you have to increase the capacity in your heart for the mission long before it matters that you increase the capacity of your building.”
Indeed, not only is First Baptist Bolivar making inroads into its own community, but it is also reaching out across the world to make a difference for Christ. Russell said that the church not only reaches out through its Cooperative Program giving, but it also is involved with a mission partnership in El Salvador. In a recent mission trip there, one medical mission team served 1400 people. Also, the church recently sent a pilot team to northern Africa to explore how they can take part in taking the gospel to an unreached people group.
“Our mission statement is pretty succinct: We want to become disciples who are making disciples. We want to be one church that is diversely gifted accomplishing one mission,” Russell said. “Expanding the ministry here at home allows us to remain viable to expand what we do in other places.