By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – Riverview Baptist Church held a groundbreaking ceremony, July 17, to celebrate the beginning of construction on a new multi-purpose facility that will serve future generations.
Pastor David Newton told the Baptist Message the new facility will ensure the church has adequate space to meet the needs of a growing congregation.
Since February 2020 (just prior to Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards’s COVID-related worship attendance restrictions), Sunday worship attendance has increased from 92 to as high as 115 in February 2022.
Moreover, the church has baptized seven new believers who committed their lives to Jesus during a revival in early January. Additionally, Newton, on July 24, will baptize a youngster who, during Vacation Bible School in June, chose to follow Jesus.
“I have a great supportive group of deacons and others in our church who do great things,” he said. “Our music minister Brother Mike Boone, for instance, has been our point man in this project and he has tirelessly got this project to where we are today.
“We are seeing God move and things happen because of the leadership here,” he continued. “We have church members from all walks of life that are investing in, inviting and discipling others. Our hope is God will continue to use this not just as a members-only Riverview Baptist building but as a community building, so we can minister and be a lighthouse through everything God is doing.”
Once complete, the 4,875-square-foot facility will include space to accommodate 250 people — for conferences and small groups. The project is scheduled for completion in December.
Newton asked for prayers for safety and timeliness of the construction and for the congregation’s efforts to spread the Gospel in Central Louisiana.
“While we are called to be Kingdom-focused and not to treasure the things of this world, because one day they will be consumed by fire, we are called to use the resources and blessings that we have to reach out and minister for the glory of God,” he said. “In Mark 10:46-52 we read the story of blind Bartimaeus. Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem for the last time, and as He reached Jericho, Bartimaeus called out to Jesus and was healed. If Bartimaeus would have waited until Jesus was returning, he would have missed out and never been healed. Our prayer is that no one who walks in this building will leave waiting for the next opportunity and eventually miss hearing the Gospel.”