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First Baptist Church breaks ground
A church that's called downtown Beaumont home for decades is getting ready to move to a new location. Children and church
leaders at First Baptist Church marked the historic moment and ground breaking with golden shovels Sunday.
"For most people this is a once in a lifetime experience. I mean how many time do you hear of a 142 year old church relocating out of its' downtown location out here?," lead pastor Christopher Moody said.
After more than a century, First Baptist Church is moving to a new location off Major Drive from its' downtown location.
"Downtown Beaumont has been in transition for decades and we, number one, found that all of our people lived out this direction. Number two, the cost of maintaining our downtown space was just too much," Moody said.
The new $6 million multipurpose building will be about 25,000 sq.ft. and include an auditorium and youth space.
"The church is the people, the church isn't building, and so where the people are, they're in the West End and Lumberton, of First Baptist Church and so this is where we needed to be," Moody said.
Dozens of people from the 700 member congregation gathered at the site Sunday for a special service, including Ernest Brown. His family's been involved in the church for more than a century.
"This church has always been where the majority of the members were older people like me and now you can look around and there's not more than a half dozen people that are my age or older," Ernest Brown said.
The youth marked the occasion by playing in the pile of dirt, that in about a year, will be ground under the church's new home.
The building is expected to open in about a year.