Marion church dedicates new building

MARION — There was a heightened sense of excitement and rejoicing in the air at Marion Baptist Church on Sunday.

More than 60 members and guests gathered for the opportunity to worship, sing and celebrate New Year’s Day at a special service to recognize a significant milestone, the formal dedication of a new building.

Begun in the fall of 2011, construction of the shell and flooring of a highly anticipated multipurpose hall and gymnasium has been completed. It marks phase two of a long-term expansion plan which started several years ago with the addition of a fellowship hall to the original church.

The 64-foot by 42-foot building was designed by church member, Orlan England, and constructed by England Buildings and Supplies of Marion.

Phase three of the project is installation of electric service; phase four will include plumbing and a number of other options under consideration.

In the spring, the facility will be open for children’s activities and games, basketball, volleyball and other sports for youth, exercise programs and a variety of uses by the church family and for outreach to the community.

“The new hall will be used to better serve our people and through them to work for God’s glory,” said Pastor Dennis Williams during the dedication address. “The building is merely a tool to better reach out and deliver the message of salvation.”

Williams acknowledged that the building is due not only to the prayers and hard work of today’s congregation, but also to the vision of generations who have passed on.

“We owe the idea of this gym to previous generations as well as current members,” he said. “Let’s remember the history and think of all those in the past who planned and prayed for a way to better attract young people and their families and to better serve the Marion community.”

Williams, who has been the church pastor for more than 20 years, stressed that the building is debt-free and that future enhancements will be initiated in God’s timing as He supplies the resources.

“As God provides,” he added, “we will take on each new phase, one at a time, not going into debt for it.”

Many activities now held in the fellowship hall will be transitioned to the new building.

“We do a lot of things in the fellowship hall with kids that just aren’t really suited to the room,” said church member Merry Cook.

“The new hall was a promise by the congregation for years to the young people and adults of the church to have the right kind of place for games, sports, friendly competition and lots of other activities,” she added. “Hopefully, young people will look to the church for recreation and begin to make it part of their life. Now the church can grow and we can reach out to the people of the community.”

The church welcomes visitors. “Anyone who doesn’t have a church family is invited to come to services,” said Williams. “We are eager to share God’s plan of salvation and to be a light for those in need of hope.”

Marion Baptist Church is at 19909 40th Ave., Marion. For more information, contact Pastor Dennis Williams, (231) 743-6725.