On Sunday, the First Baptist Church will celebrate its 150th birthday.
Dr. Dan Murray, pastor, said guests will include former members and pastors to speak about their experiences. There will also be a special display of artifacts.
The day's event will conclude with a catered luncheon at the new site for Paradigm fx.
The focus of the celebration is to look to the future, which includes a 21,000 square foot, $2.5 million structure called The Point, a family life center. The new building will offer the means of connecting with the community. The Point will contain many special interest areas such as a gym and rooms for small group meetings.
The old Piggly Wiggly, built in the 1940s and originally a Ford dealership, is undergoing renovation and will become Paradigm fx, an extension of the church for university ministry.
Nick Cooper, the church's university youth minister, is from the First Baptist Church in Lubbock. Pastor Murray called him specifically to create the Paradigm ministry program.
Cooper said they live by the slogan, “Train the leaders of tomorrow's church.” Currently approximately 150 students attend various services throughout the week.
The entire inside of the old structure had to be gutted and ceiling tiles removed to get rid of mold. The majority of the work has been by volunteers. Folding chairs are being used until furniture can be purchased.
Pastor Murray said the furniture needed for just one of the meeting rooms will cost $4,000.
Cooper said that other universities in Florida, California, and Tennessee are calling and indicating interest in the organization of this new kind of ministry for their campuses.
From a log cabin on one corner of the square with three members, the oldest Baptist church in this area was constituted in Sept. 1857.