First Love Church members in Paducah, Ky., rejoiced over paying off their mortgage, and celebrated their happy achievement on February 11, 2017, a milestone for a church which sprouted from humble beginnings. South Central Conference administrators — Benjamin Jones, president; John S. Nixon Sr., D.Min., executive secretary; and Sonja Crayton, treasurer — were present to share in the convivial celebration of burning the mortgage documents.
The church history can be traced back to 1925, in a little red brick building on the corner of South 8th Street and Adam Street, which has been standing for at least 92 years. The name then was Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church. Since that humble beginning, the church has been blessed with many gifted pastors. In 1990, Joseph Follette, pastor, and the members decided to look for a new place of worship. Carie Cole came up with the new name First Love Church.
In 1996, the late William Pergerson, pastor, and First Love members purchased land at H.C. Mathis Drive. In 1998, Thomas Donley, pastor, and the members sold Ephesus Church, and purchased the St. Paul AME Church they had been renting. In 2012, under the leadership of R. Broussard, pastor, the members agreed to go beyond making monthly payments, which contributed to increased giving and a rapid decrease in the mortgage debt. The increased giving resulted in paying off the mortgage five years early in 2016. There were many contributors who started with the project, but now rest in Jesus.
With revolutionary generosity, the members will remodel the sanctuary, add two classrooms, extend the fellowship hall, and most importantly, put in a baptismal pool. The next upcoming events include Vacation Bible School, July 10-13, and a tent revival, July 22-August 5, at the H.C. Mathis Drive site. The members believe they have come this far by faith, and that God has not failed them yet.
The church family is intentional about soul winning; evangelism is a process, not an event. The members anticipate 25 baptisms this year at First Love, and they solicit your prayers.
South Central | May 2017
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