The Montgomery, Ala., First Church celebrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 3, 2018, to mark the culmination of a one-year journey of renovating more than 80 percent of the nearly 4 1/2 acres of the church campus. A remarkable component of this project is that the renovations were completed almost entirely by church members as a labor of love for kingdom building.
Mel Eisele, retired president of Gulf States Conference and chair of the building committee, shared, “I was privileged to be a part of this church renovation, because the changes will be used to reach people and help them be prepared for the coming of Jesus.” With every careful detail, members united to accomplish the work covering months of long days and evenings. Brian Danese, treasurer of Gulf States Conference, said, “I was so inspired by the way the remodel touched almost every area of the church. I think what impressed me the most was the legacy the leadership left for the next generation — passing them a building with new seating, lighting, and updated systems that solved most maintenance issues for the next several decades.” Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Dan Thompson, pastor of Montgomery First, stated, “We are looking forward to God’s blessing in our church, and many more activities that we can continue to do here!” It was an incredible, high Sabbath filled with a tremendous sense of gratitude, accomplishment, and oneness in Christ.
Eisele shared, “We have a united, working building committee, and a very supportive church family. On specially called days, 20 to 30 men and women were there helping with even dirty jobs. We could feel the rest of the church at home praying for us.” Throughout the journey of this project, it became evident that the renovations extended beyond brick and mortar, wires and paint, to touching lives and healing hearts. Bernell Mapp, local elder, noted, “The scope, the challenges, the completeness, the beauty, and the newness of the renovation encouraged us all to ask God to renovate our hearts as well, making them like new again.” Brenda Stephens, church treasurer, said, “You cannot track the distance you have traveled when you stop to focus on all the twists and turns. Rest in the Lord and view the distance from the comfort of His arms.”
Members commented on how the renovation resulted in a remarkable transformation honoring the ministry of Jesus Christ! Tui Pitman, retired pastor, emphasized, “The one word to describe our remodeling is a miracle. When we ran into problems, we prayed about it, and God gave us the answers. The end result is a beautiful church!
Gulf States | February 2019