JEFFERSON CITY – The Baptist Building will open to Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) state missionaries, May 4, as soon as statewide stay-at-home orders are lifted.
The building, however, will remain closed for the time being to the public, and MBC staff members with weakened immune systems have been encouraged to return a week later.
During the past month, the Baptist Building has been operational, according to MBC spokesperson Rob Phillips, director of ministry support.
“We especially wanted to be of service to tenants like the Missouri Baptist Foundation, and to continue operations like our mailroom, human resources, accounting, IT, and properties management,” Phillips said. “The building is ready for our returning state missionaries.
“Our state missionaries have continued to serve Missouri Baptists while under federal and state stay-at-home directives,” he added. “Like our churches, we have found creative ways to encourage and support our pastors, staffs, and local congregations, using the web, social media, teleconferencing, and even snail mail. We have nearly completed an effort to speak personally with every pastor of our 1,800 affiliated churches. In the process, we have prayed with and encouraged hundreds of church leaders on the front lines in communities all across our state.
“At the same time, our state missionaries are eager to see each other in person once again and return to work in the Baptist Building, just as all Missouri Baptists are eager to return to their local places of worship. We understand the challenges ahead with respect to social distancing, disinfecting, security, and other precautions. But we are grateful to the Lord for His grace in these challenging days, and we are thankful to all Missouri Baptists for their prayers, faithfulness, creativity, and positive outlook.”
Phillips added that plans to open the Baptist Building will go forward, “unless we receive further direction from the governor.”