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First Baptist Church grows to spread God#039;s word

ROME TOWNSHIP - The First Baptist Church in Proctorville has been experiencing great growth, so much so that it is expanding to make more room for those who enter through its doors.

"The Lord has really blessed us," Pastor Jeff Black said.

The church is building on approximately 15,000 square feet which will include a fellowship hall that will seat 500, 10 rooms, four or five offices and a full size set of restrooms with handicap showers.

"It's much-needed space," Jim Murphy, chairman of trustees, said. "We're building about 15,000 square feet, the Lord has blessed us here."

The target date for completion of the project is the middle of October, and Murphy said that church members are really looking forward to it.

Two years ago, the church remodeled the auditorium, and the next phase after the completion of the addition will be to renovate the old part of the church.

Previously, the church expanded the sanctuary, removing classrooms and a bookstore. The church has been experiencing growth in its membership, especially among the youth groups.

Pastor Black said that the church ministers to an average of 250 young people a week. He said that the church has a wonderful teen ministry that has grown into a huge thing. The teen department, called, "The Place," provides many activities for the youth.

"The world is offering so much to teens, we're trying to make a difference," Murphy said.

The church also has children's church, and several other ministries including the Kinder-Kare Day Care Center which was opened in 1975.

The daycare also offers ASK program, an after-school program for school age youth up to the age of 12.

The daycare will also benefit from the addition as it will be installing a security system and video cameras, which will be taping during the work day.

"Most parents think it's a good idea," Murphy said.

Pastor Black said that the church is out of room because the Lord has blessed the church and, "God has shed his grace on them."

"Christ makes a difference in people's lives, we've seen it," Pastor Black said. "The facility we are building is because of the growth of the church."

Both Pastor Black and Murphy agree that much unity exists in the church and the people are loving and giving.

Pastor Black said lot of hurting people are in the community and they are experiencing God.

"The Lord is just using us," he said. "It's all about him, not us."