A fire destroyed the building five years ago that First Baptist Church of South Londonderry had been meeting in and worshipping in since 1832. While it was a difficult time for the community to say goodbye to a building that had stood on the hill for generations, they have learned over the past few years how a church isn’t always defined by a building. Even though the members and friends have learned this valuable lesson, they also look forward to the day they will again have a building to be a center for ministry and a meeting place that they can open up to the community. The members and friends longed for a new building that would be reminiscent of the previous building but would be more accessible and more efficient than the previous one. They longed for a building that would be used not just on Sunday mornings but throughout the entire week by the community. They were excited to see what the new building would become.
Their plans included a brick exterior and stained glass windows that would remind them of another building that stood in the same place. Their plans also included more usable space and new features, such as showers for groups to use. They dreamed about a kitchen that they would be able to cook community dinners in. After years of planning and preparing, they broke ground on the new building in July of 2014.
Over the past year, they have watched in amazement how their dreams of the new building were coming to fruition as the foundation was being poured. Quickly the walls came up and the roof was put into place. The building was closed up for the winter so that the church could stretch the funds they had by not having to heat the unfinished building. In the spring the builders came back and quickly installed the windows, but it wasn’t until the siding and brick work was nearly finished that the community started to get excited about what was happening on the hill. The members and friends of the church look forward to the fall, when the exterior of the building will be completed and they can landscape around the building. At that point they will be able to focus on completing the interior.
In order to be cost effective, First Baptist Church will be working directly with volunteers and construction workers to complete the the building project. They continue to raise money for its completion. They had adequate insurance; however, with current commercial building codes, they are raising funds to help with the added expense. They are grateful for those who have made generous contributions and donations towards the new building already.
For more information about the building, volunteering opportunities, and fundraising efforts take a look at their website firstbaptistlondonderryvt.org or call 802-856-7266.