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New day for Sharon Baptist Church

IRONTON — The sun shown bright on Sharon Baptist Church Sunday.

The church, which is located on South Fifth Street, broke ground Sunday for a new building. Construction will start Monday, July 27.

According to Jack Lewis, the chairman of the building committee, the building will be about 11,000 square feet. It will serve 600 people rather than the current building’s 250 people, and will be used for a multi purpose building for the youth group.

“After this, I want the hardest question to be ‘when are we going to meet for services on Sunday?’” said Pastor Steve Harvey to the 177 people congregated outside.

Currently, the church meets at 8:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., but Lewis said they hope to be able to meet at a single time in the future.

This project has not been easy.

“We thought we were almost there and the economic situation took its toll,” Lewis said. “We were then unable to get financing for the building.”

Lewis said that despite multiple applications to banks around the area, Sharon Baptist was at most given half of what it required. Finally, after the congregation had accepted that perhaps it was not the best time to build, an offer came from Citizens National Bank in Paintsville despite never applying to that bank.

“They came to us,” Lewis said.

The crowd gathered Sunday knew all too well the tribulations the church has been through, but knowing this only made them prouder of the overall progress.

“We’ve gone left and right trying to figure out what exactly God wants us to do,” said Aaron Fields, the associate and youth pastor. “Faith made it happen.”

“We need this building,” said Ed Webb of Chesapeake. “We’ve outgrown the other one. It’s much passed due. We’re going to go forth and build this building.”

But perhaps the children conveyed the thoughts on everyone’s mind the best as they sang the lyrics, “I get down, He lifts me up.”

“I know God is going to like his new house,” said eight-year-old Kylie Deer. “I’m just excited about everything.”

(Editor’s note: Photographs of the groundbreaking ceremony were lost due to an equipment malfunction.)