For the past five years, First Baptist Church of Marble Falls leadership and the congregation have prayed over plans for a mission center. On Sunday, April 25, those prayers will begin to take shape.
The church is holding a groundbreaking at noon that day on a piece of land at Avenue R and Fifth Street, the site of the future Marble Falls Mission Center. Church officials expect construction to be finished by the fall of 2022.
The 20,000-square-foot, two-story building will hold a number of the church’s ministry-oriented services.
The Rev. Ross Chandler said the center also will offer space to other churches that want to share their ministries with the community. Those churches will have autonomy over their own programs.
“It makes this a very unique building with a very unique purpose,” he said. “The mission center is just a building; the services inside will be ministries by and owned by those churches.”
Norman Flowers, First Baptist Church’s missions pastor, said the plan is to bring many of the ministry services, including Creative Hearts Quilters, Healing Ministries, the counseling center, and future programs, to the center.
“There are other future ministries we can bring in, or there may be other churches who have ministries that they need more space and want to be a part of this,” Flowers said. “We have included extra rooms and space for those future ministries, ones we may not know about right now.”
The center will include space for the church’s food pantry, which is currently on Twelfth Street in a former location of First Baptist Church. Last year, the pantry served over 9,000 people. The new facility will have more space for the pantry and its clients.
The mission center also will hold a multipurpose room with space for worship services and other activities and a commercial-grade kitchen.
“Part of the project is partnering with the Highland Lakes Crisis Network, which is under the great leadership of Kevin Naumann, to be part of the center,” Chandler said.
The Crisis Network helps people recover from disasters such as floods, fires, and, most recently, the pandemic.
The church will use professional contractors for most of the center’s construction but also rely on the congregation and community volunteers for simpler tasks.
Along with saving money, Chandler hopes the volunteer projects will create a stronger bond between the Marble Falls Mission Center and Highland Lakes residents.
“In the same way when you swing a hammer for Habitat for Humanity, (and) it ties your heart to the people who live in that home, I hope that by working on the center, (people) form a bond with others working on it and (with) the people and churches who use it,” he said.
In the end, the mission center is to show God’s love.
“I believe the mission center will be transformative to our community and real people’s lives,” Chandler said.
“There are so many things (the mission center) opens us up for, so many possibilities we don’t know yet,” he said. “We’ve been praying on this for the past five years, and God has responded, but beyond what we could have imagined.”
For more information on the Marble Falls Mission Center, call the church at 830-693-4381. Donations to support the center’s construction may be made online.