Twenty five years ago today, the large hall at Orchard Baptist Church was officially opened. The church had grown so much that the original chapel wasn’t large enough to hold everyone on a Sunday and so the decision was made to build a larger hall.
The faith of the church at the time was incredible even to the point that some of the members put a share in their homes up as security for the loan that was needed for the building work.
The vision of the church was to create a space that could be used for the growing numbers on a Sunday but that could also be used during the week for various activities including community use.
This wasn’t to be a sacred space reserved just for God’s people, rather it was intended to be a place full of the presence of God where all were welcomed. It was not designed to be like the Old Testament temple where only the few were allowed to meet with God, it was modeled on Jesus who welcomed everyone in order that he could open the way for them to know God.
One of our newest members who has only been with us a few months decorated and she created these amazing balloon columns and some delicious cake. 🙂
‘The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving towards all he has made’
‘This building was opened and dedicated
to the Glory of God 26 September 1992’
Over the years, the building has glorified God! It stands as testament to his faithfulness and using it in a multipurpose way helps to show the surrounding community that God loves them. Ironically some churches think that they honour God by reserving their buildings juts for religious activity but I think that this is the opposite of what Jesus wants.
Today, Orchard Baptist Church (the church formerly known as Blackheath Baptist Church) is building spiritually upon the blessing and foundation laid by those who came before us. We give thanks for their faith and all they have given us but we are also looking to God to lead us into all that he has for us in the future rather than just assuming that things will always remain the same.
Some things to consider:
Looking back, who can you give thanks for? Who made a difference in the past to make your life better today?
How can we make decisions as churches that aren’t just about our needs, but rather are also about the needs of the community that we area a part of?
What legacy are we leaving? How are we making the world a better place for those who follow us?
How can we honour and be grateful for the blessings from the past whilst being open to change in the future.