A group of volunteers from all over the country have been constructing a new facility for Liberty Baptist Church.
Pastor Rodney Burdette said the congregation decided the new building was needed sooner rather than later.
“We’re in an old building, it was built in 1977 and it’s been a lot of work keeping it functional,” he said. “What happens is you’re putting lots of money into an old building or you can put that money toward a new one.”
Construction started at their 11195 Airport Road location in Rouzerville last year with clearing the land and grading the surface to lay the foundation.
When finished, the two-story building is set to be around 6,500 square feet and include a new sanctuary, bathrooms, Sunday school rooms and offices, as well as an infant nursery.
“The idea is we want it to be more open and allow people to not feel crowded when they walk in,” Burdette said. “We also plan on adding screens and a whole new sound board and visual system.”
While construction is ongoing, plans for the immediate future include a fair amount of concrete work, parking lot paving and drywall, as well as paint and fixtures.
There is a lot of volunteer work that is happening, and it is moving along with the 50 workers on average on the Franklin County site daily.
Over a year ago when Burdette, who previously served as a missionary in Thailand for seven years, saw the need for a new building, he reached out to Brant Lane, the building director for Macedonian Mission Builders out of Kentucky. The organization helps missionaries and pastors build sanctuaries, fellowship halls and more.
“I put a call in and invited them to come out, and they did and then they put a newsletter out and then everyone just started coming, that’s honestly how it all started,” Burdette said, looking at the new building.
The group arrived on July 17 and plan to have their phase of the project completed by July 31, with the building ready for drywall when they leave.
“It’s a help ministry,” Lane said. “Our foundation is built on Acts 16:9 ‘come over and help us’. All of the volunteers have paid their own way and are just here to help. We have probably had 75-80 volunteers come and answer the call representing 14 states.”
Macedonian Mission Builders does about about five to six building projects a year, usually with one out of the country, Lane said.
“We are driven by the Lord’s command to help, that’s what makes it fulfilling,” he said. “You don’t find it in things, only in fulfilling what his purpose is for you.”
Plans are for the building to be completed by the end of the year and ready for use.
Burdette reflected on the past months as work has been underway. “It doesn’t matter what job the volunteers get, or how hot it gets, the people are just full of joy,” he said. “They are building the Lord’s house, and they want everything to be perfect.”
According to Burdette, $180,000 has been spent so far on the new building project, and he predicts that it will take another $180,000 to finish.
“This building here means to me that we want to be a lighthouse and be grounded here for years to come to teach the gospel and lead up new generations of leaders in their families, jobs and community,” Burdette said. “This is a congregation where people can come and not be judged and where they can come if they have any needs; we just want to be a lighthouse.”
Services are still being held in the church’s original building each week until the new building is completed. Sunday worship is held at 11 a.m., and Wednesday night at 6:30.
For more information, visit LBC online at www.facebook.com/Liberty-Baptist-Church.