Temporary sanctuary brings church closer

Originally published at Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org

Princeton—After flood damage in February caused First Baptist Church of Princeton to meet in a temporary sanctuary, the congregation met in its own sanctuary again for the first time Dec. 15.

For the past 10 months, the church has been gathering across the street in their Christian Life Center after damage was caused by melting snow.

The repairs were covered by insurance, and the remodeled sanctuary has a new sound system, pews, flooring and lights. Additionally, Sunday School space was turned into a welcome center to foster friendships made during their time in the temporary sanctuary.

“When we moved into the Christian Life Center, the very first Sunday there were people who had been going to church for years who said, ‘There are people going to church that I didn’t even realize were members of this church or attended here’,” Russ Davidson, pastor of First Baptist, told WPSD news.

“So it’s really brought us a family atmosphere,” he continued, explaining that the temporary sanctuary arrangements caused those from the balcony and floor level to sit together.

“We have experienced closeness, and change is difficult for anyone. We had to think outside the box. We had to do church in a way that we’ve not done it before. We had to sit in places we never sat before,” Davidson said.

However, Davidson appreciated the setup of the Christian Life Center so much that he wants to hold two services, one in the regular sanctuary and another in the Christian Life Center.

Phillip Van Hooser, a longtime member, told WPSD, “You can kind of feel from the spirit of the people. We overcame, now we’re back. What better time than the week before Christmas?”

He was excited to be back and thankful for the community’s support.

“Everybody wanted to know, ‘How are we doing? How’s the church coming?’ They are looking forward to get to this day, and now here we are!” (WR)