Westside Baptist Church
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Connecting People to Jesus, One Person at a Time
ReNew is our capital campaign to renovate various facilities around the Westside Baptist Church Campus. The capaign rolled out in March of 2015. The following gives information on the campaign. If you have not participated in ReNew, we encourage you to do so!
THE STORY OF WESTSIDE BAPTIST CHURCH IS ACTUALLY HIS STORY.
It is the story of a sovereign God at work in His faithful people. This
will attempt to give you a snapshot of what God has done in the past,
where He is leading up in the future, and how we are going to get there.
Rev. Keith Russell, Senior Pastor
WHERE WE'VE BEEN.
IN THE SPRING OF 1958, THE WOODSTOCK PARK BAPTIST CHURCH PURCHASED PROPERTY LOCATED AT 1862 FOURAKER ROAD FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING A MISSION. On June 1, 1958, Mission Day was held with ground-breaking ceremonies for the first building. The mission would be called Woodstock Park Baptist Chapel. The first service in the new building was held on the fourth Sunday of December in 1958 with sixty-one (61) persons present during the Sunday School hour. The first pastor of the mission was Reverend Samuel C. Baker. In February of 1959 the name of the mission was changed to Normandy Village Baptist Chapel. In March of 1962, the mission was organized into an autonomous, cooperating Southern Baptist Church. Reverend Baker served as pastor until September of 1963.
During the next ten years the church had three pastors. Reverend E.W. Bryant served from 1964-1966. Reverend T. Paul Deaton served from 1966-1969. Reverend Robert L. Staver served from 1970-1973.
On July 8, 1973, the church called Reverend Harold G. Hudson as interim pastor. On August 19, 1973, the church called Reverend Hudson to be the fulltime pastor. Under Dr. Hudson’s leadership, the church experienced explosive growth. The name of the church was changed to Westside Baptist Church on January 5, 1977. Property was purchased on Herlong Road for the purpose of relocating in June of 1977. Buildings were built, souls were saved, and God was glorified. On the fourth Sunday of 1989, the church moved into a 2,600 seat Worship center at a cost of $5.5 million. Dr. Hudson resigned as pastor in 1996.
On the last Sunday of November, 1996, the church called Reverend Keith Pastor as Senior Pastor. When he became pastor the church had a debt of $4.5 million dollars. The debt was retired in 2005. Dr. Russell led the church to purchase what was then known as the May Vineyard. Since that time, almost every building has been remodeled debt free. At the time of this writing, the church is still debt free!
WESTSIDE HAS ALWAYS BEEN KNOWN AS A “BIRTHING STATION.” Through the ministries of this church thousands of people have been saved and baptized. Nothing excites this body like seeing souls saved and the baptistery waters stirred! The church has always been about connecting all generations to Jesus!
WHERE WE'RE GOING.
THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT HIS STORY IS STILL BEING WRITTEN! Yes, we are thankful for the past, but we are also excited about the future. The world is filled with men, women, students, and children who need to be connected to Jesus. In order to do that more effectively, there are some things that we need to do. Through the leadership of our Staff, Building Study Committee, and Stewardship Committee, we have outlined some things that need to be done to our buildings and grounds.
THE WORSHIP CENTER needs to be remodeled. The “new” Worship Center is now 25 years old! The carpet is matted and faded. Some of the pews are stained and torn. The audio, visual and lighting systems are fatigued and outdated. The restrooms are outdated. The air handler for the air conditioning system is almost worn out. These things are worn because thousands of people have walked on the carpet, sat on the pews, listened to the message, and given their hearts to Jesus! If we are going to continue to connect people to Jesus, it is imperative that the Worship Center be attractive, comfortable, and the message of the gospel can be clearly heard.
THE TEACHEY CHAPEL needs to be remodeled. The carpet, pews, and audio/visual system all need to be replaced. This is one of our most used buildings. A Connection Group meets there. The Wednesday night Bible Study meets there. Many weddings and funerals are held there. Different ministries hold special events there. Again, it is crucial that it be an attractive, comfortable place where the gospel message can be clearly heard.
THE CHILDREN’S RECREATION MINISTRY has been used to reach many families for Christ and this church. Presently, we have one field that is used for most of our baseball games and all of our soccer/flag football games. This project calls for us to turn the old vineyard property into a place for parking and soccer/flag football fields. Sports are not our main business, but it is an avenue that enables us to connect to people and share the message of the gospel.
THE PARKING LOT needs to be resurfaced and restriped. Through the years we have patched it, sealed it, and striped it, but it needs more than that now. Some of the asphalt has worn away. The first thing first time guests see when they come onto our property is our parking lot. It needs to be smooth and clearly striped.
FINALLY, WE NEED A PORTICO. This had been a need for many years. This will provide a place for people to be dropped off on days of inclement weather. Although it will be adventageous to everyone, it will be particularly helpful to Senior Adults.
Why do we need these projects?
They will help us perform our stated mission of “connecting all generations to Jesus, one person at time.” There are more testimonies (like the ones previously listed) that need to be written. The world is changing. Technology is advancing. However, the need of mankind for the gospel has not changed, and it never will! The Westside, the city of Jacksonville, and the world needs Westside Baptist Church to be a lighthouse for Jesus. We need to do these projects for the sake of lost souls who still need to hear about Jesus.
Our Staff has given these projects the name, “ReNew.” The word accurately describes what we need to do to our buildings and grounds. The word also accurately describes what God needs to do in His people. Our theme verse is Lamentations 5:21, “Lord, restore us to Yourself, so we may return; renew our days as in former times.” (Holman) It is a prayer for God to renew His people, renew their passion, and renew their purpose.
HOW WE'LL GET THERE.
You are encouraged to participate in the “ReNew” campaign in several ways:
1. PRAY. NOTHING GREAT FOR GOD IS EVER ACCOMPLISHED APART FROM PRAYER. Pray for yourself. Pray for your church. Sunday night, January 25, was designated as “A Night of Prayer.” The evening service was given to corporate prayer. Some will remember when the church had a special prayer meeting to ask God to move our property line…and He did! On January 25, we asked God for another miracle. Nothing is too big for Him! If “ReNew” is not already on your prayer list, please put it there today. February 1-8 has been designated as “A Week of Prayer.” Every member is encouraged to use Claude V. King’s booklet, Consecrate the People, as a prayer guide for eight days of intense prayer.
2. GIVE. THE COST TO COMPLETE THESE PROJECTS IS ABOUT $2.5 MILLION. Our goal is to raise the money and complete the projects as the money becomes available. We are not going to borrow the money and go into debt. Our goal is also to complete all of these projects, debt free, during the next three years. For that to become a reality, everyone must give something. Some can give more than others, but all can give something. The goal is not equal gifts, but equal sacrifice. The goal is not for some to give all, but for all to give some.
3. SERVE. AS WE LAUNCH INTO THIS JOURNEY, THERE WILL BE MANY THINGS TO DO. If you are asked to serve, say “Yes!” If you are not asked to serve, volunteer! Everyone is busy, but this is God’s business! Since you are His child and this is your church, it is your business, too.
4. PRAY. THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN SAID, BUT IT CANNOT BE SAID TOO MUCH! Ask God how much He wants you to give to the one day offering. Ask God how much He wants you to pledge to give over the next three years. Ask God to stretch you. You may already have an amount in your mind. Is that the amount that God has in His mind?
Remember, He is a supernatural God and He specializes
in doing the impossible! Ask Him to do the impossible through you.
CONNECTING ALL GENERATIONS TO JESUS. . .
ONE PERSON AT A TIME IS OUR MISSION.
The “ReNew” campaign will help us fulfill that mission. This is something we must do. The future of this church continuing to be a lighthouse on the Westside and around the world is at stake! It is going to be an exciting journey. His Story in our church began almost 60 years ago with a small band of believers. He is still our God. This is still His church. It is now our turn to let Him do something miraculous in us and through us. Let us do it, together, for His glory!