198-year-old church relocates to 100-acre property

Originally published in Western Recorder – www.westernrecorder.org

Frankfort—On Sunday, Nov. 13, Buck Run Baptist Church in Frankfort, a 198-year-old church, will hold its first service on a new property on Leestown Road.

The church has been meeting and doing ministry for the last 128 years on the banks of Elkhorn Creek. The church averages 700 people each Sunday, divided into three services.

The new property includes 100 acres, a 50,000 square-foot worship center, a 940-seat sanctuary, and a children’s wing with an indoor playground, among other improvements.

“This is a multi-generational decision,” Pastor Hershael York said. “With 100 acres, we’re not going to run out of room again.”

This service will be the first time in years that the church can come together in one service, with enough space for all. Although York does not expect the church to stay at one service forever, he is looking forward to everyone worshiping together for now, he said.

The extra space that the campus provides will only leave more room for growth and with that, expanded opportunities for kingdom work, he added.

Since York became pastor in 2003, he led the church to become debt free in preparation for a move to a new site. Construction of the new facility began in 2015 after the church celebrated retiring its debt in 2013.

In addition to multiple services at its former building, their property was surrounded on three sides by water, making it impossible to expand parking. The property was on both sides of the road, making attenders be extra careful crossing it when moving from building to building.

The church hopes to be able to sell the property to another church, although it would make a great office space, wedding chapel or funeral home, church staff added.

“People love that location at the Forks of Elkhorn. They like to come and just look at the creek and the waterfall over the dam behind the church. I’m sure someone has a great use for it,” York said. “We’re certainly motivated to sell it now that our time there is completed.”

“This move is an incredible opportunity for us to do something in a generational way that will glorify God,” Mike Hancock, chair of the deacons, said.

“That’s our goal, first, foremost, and period. We want to do all that we’re doing so that He may be glorified right here in Frankfort,” he added.

“It’s obviously a historical moment,” York added, mentioning not only Buck Run’s role in the state’s capital city, but also its history with the Kentucky Baptist Convention. “We will celebrate our 200th anniversary in January 2018, so our move comes at an auspicious moment.”

Hancock added, “The main thing here is it’s not about the building, it’s about the kingdom of Christ. That’s what we’re working toward.”

Starting Nov. 20, Sunday School will begin at 9:15 a.m. and the worship service will begin at 10:45 a.m. weekly at the new location on Leestown Road. (WR)