The St. George’s Baptist Church is making preparations to commence an EC$15 million expansion project to upgrade the facility, which is located in the Belmont/Springs area.
According to Pastor of St. George’s Baptist Church, Stanford Simon, who is also the owner of a construction company, One Call Construction Co. Ltd., that will be carrying out the expansion works on the church, they are hoping to start the project, which is currently in the design stage, “by the end of November 2015.”
Pastor Simon said the expansion of the facility became necessary, having recognised a growth in the Church membership throughout the years, coupled with the many initiatives that the church is involved with in its quest to attract more souls for Christ.
He disclosed that the project would comprise “a four story building (that) will accommodate a Day Care centre, training facility and a mini mall…a place to hold weddings…concerts and other activities…and (would also) accommodate a radio and television studio.”
The plan, he said is also to build a “children’s church” (for) children age’s 6 to 15, noting that this initiative has been ongoing for some time now and “it (has been) very effective.”
Pastor Simon said the expansion project is expected to be completed within a three – five-year time span.
Currently, St. George’s Baptist Church, which has a membership of just about 180 persons has a seating capacity of approximately 250-300 persons.
However, Pastor Simon said the congregation has “reached the point now where our church on a Sunday morning is filled.”
“Most of the time we have to find seats and our members have to get up and go outside…we have to build a church that would hold at least 800 persons so that is where we are going to go,” he added.
Pastor Simon pointed to the live online broadcast of the Sunday morning service noting that approximately two weeks ago the listenership exceeded the set 500 viewer limit.
“This means that we have more persons online attending our church than we have in the church itself,” he remarked.
“…So it shows that our church is growing and people are responding to that with their tithes and offering and we are not a church that just focus on dollars and cents, we also focus on people’s lives and development”, he said.
The religious figure noted that with the realisation that the youths of today are more technologically inclined and “do not want to come to church”, St. George’s Baptist is “building a technological church,” in an effort to gain more souls for Christ in light of the fact that “most young persons are “on heir cell phones and tablets on the Internet.”
“What we have done as a church is build a website and we have set up a server,” he said, adding that the Church is “looking to (maximise) use of the media (such as) facebook, twitter, email blast (et cetera) to be able to talk to people,” as well as through their online radio and television station (SGBCgrenada.com).”
According to Pastor Simon, it is the intention of St. George’s Baptist Church to “collaborate with other churches in terms of training and youth development, as well as helping out in areas where they (other churches) are weak.
“We as a church believe we are strong in technology and in leadership…so we can help them…that’s the vision in helping to develop our country by training persons (to become) effective and efficient so that when they would have left our church, they would not just leave knowing Christ but they would leave knowing how to function in the real world.”
Pastor Simon told THE NEW TODAY that there are activities planned aimed at generating funds for the project, and he expects donations would also be forthcoming from persons locally and in the Diaspora.
“We also have friends or persons who are members of our church abroad who have already indicated their willingness to support this programme and we believe there are thousands of Grenadians who are in Grenada who see the work that this church is doing and have indicated their willingness not just to give financially, but to give of their labour and of their time”, he said.
He stressed that there are “Grenadians who see the work that this church is doing and within the community, who have already indicated their willingness not just to give financially but to give of their labour and their time to ensure that we get the money to do this.”