By Baptist Message staff
LAKE CHARLES, La. (LBM) – More than 2,000 members and guests are expected to pack the newly remodeled central venue worship center of Trinity Baptist Church, Lake Charles, for two special services Sunday, Dec. 5.
The center, which sustained heavy damage, became a lighthouse to the community.
“Lake Charles dealt with COVID like everyone else did, then when you added two hurricanes, then had the freeze in February and then the floods in May, you have the makeup for a very challenging year,” Pastor Steve James said. “Our folks were up to the challenge. We have got a core of people at Trinity who helped us carry on despite all of the difficulties we faced.”
Renovations to the 27,000-square-foot central venue were completed in November. With theatre-style seating for 1,000, it is the largest of three venues used for various worship services on the 39-acre campus: the central venue hosts blended-style worship, the north venue features contemporary worship, and the chapel venue is home to the Hispanic service.
Since the $5.2 million project began in January 2020, the church has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, three hurricanes, a flood and an ice storm. During this time, Trinity became a hub for ministry and disaster relief for hurricane survivors, relief workers and law enforcement personnel.
Southern Baptist and other disaster relief organizations joined with up to 50 Trinity Baptist members each day to use the church as a launching pad for ministry and disaster relief. Moreover, local law enforcement utilized the campus as a staging area, creating even greater visibility among the community.
In addition to the central venue, Trinity also is remodeling other areas of the campus, including its education and office spaces. Work is expected to be completed by January.
“This has been a long process,” said Greg Bath, Trinity’s executive pastor of administration. “The pandemic, then three hurricanes, a flood, and a major freeze have impacted material and labor resources in our area, but we are so thankful to finally see these projects being completed and the reopening of our entire campus.”
James said the renovated facility helps to position the church to continue reaching the Lake Charles area for many generations.
“A generation ago God gave our church a vision and a task to accomplish and almost 22 years ago through prayer, faith, and financial sacrifice; we relocated our campus to South Lake Charles,” said James, Trinity’s pastor for more than 25 years. “Today, we see a new generation looking to sustain the future of Trinity’s mission to reach and minister to the Lake area for years to come.”
The grand reopening services at Trinity Baptist will take place Sunday at 9 and 10:45 a.m. Louisiana Baptist Executive Director Steve Horn will be among the speakers. For more information, visit tbclc.org/cvreopen.