By Savannah Cooper
MACON—In the fall of 2004, a small church in this community closed its doors because of a lack of attendance and its location in a waning neighborhood. The Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) purchased Calvary Baptist Church and held onto it, hoping that it would one day become a church again.
Then-MBC Executive Director David Clippard did not want the land sold as commercial property; he wanted the church to remain a church. The MBC Executive Board approved the purchase in the hope that the MBC would be able to start a new church on that spot, and the MBC replaced all the heating and air conditioning units in the building, primarily to bring down the cost of utilities.
“There were a number of attempts to start a church in the area,” said Kenny Shaw, team leader of MBC Properties Management, “but there was never enough interest to sustain a long-term congregation. In 2009, it was finally determined that the property needed to be sold, hopefully to a church or Christian organization.”
Meanwhile, in Macon an African-American church known as Ruby Street Baptist was looking for a new building as they had outgrown their own.
The church has been in existence as a congregation for over 140 years and is now a part of the Missionary Baptist Convention of Missouri. The church bought the property owned by the MBC and, at the end of July 2009, moved into the building. The name of the new congregation is Holy Trinity Baptist Church.
“The property was a real blessing to them because they had outgrown their building and they could begin using their purchase right away since it was so well-equipped,” Shaw said.
At the same time as the purchase, the church, while not a member, became dually aligned with the MBC.
“It has been great working with them, and they seem to be growing,” Shaw said.
Holy Trinity Pastor Dion Randolph lives in Quincy, Ill., and is excited about what God is doing in the church.
“I expect God to do some miraculous things,” Randolph said.
He also noted the church’s new men’s and women’s ministries, which started about two months ago.
Randolph attended the MBC annual meeting last year, and Shaw expects the church to join the MBC sometime in the future.
In the meantime, though, Randolph continues his work at Holy Trinity, which he calls “a vital part” of the Macon community and the body of Christ.