TERRE HAUTE —
Efforts are under way to construct a new sanctuary for the Free Will Baptist Church at the corner of 13th and Franklin streets in Terre Haute, said C. Dwayne Malone, pastor of the church.
The congregation’s 105-year-old church was demolished by the city of Terre Haute in June 2012 after it was condemned.
“We have a vision for a new church,” Malone said. The church’s small congregation has been meeting in a parsonage at 1401 S. 111⁄2 St.
The first phase is to erect a new sanctuary. The congregation has raised more than $115,000 in in-kind and monetary donations. Much of that includes a pre-fabrication frame structure for a 4,400-square-foot sanctuary, provided by the Freewill Baptist Regional Conference, the pastor said.
“Part of this phase is to raise money to get that structure erected and finished,” Malone said. The first phase will cost about $300,000.
“We have a year to raise that,” Malone said, as the congregation has an immediate need for a sanctuary. Malone said he is thankful of the church’s congregation “for their perseverance in the last four years, maintaining their commitment without a church [building] and at times, without a pastor to lead them.”
Malone became pastor of the church in July 2011.
“We are looking to build a sanctuary that is inviting for worship services and teaching,” Malone said. “We are not looking to build a huge church, but a state of the art structure to enhance and beautify our community fulfilling not only the spiritual needs for man, but bringing hope for the whole man.”
The church has formed a steering committee of community leaders to help it identify financial resources and gain public support, Malone said. The first fundraiser for the sanctuary will be held Aug. 10 from noon to 4 p.m. at the church parsonage from sales of barbecue chicken and rib dinners, the pastor said.
Other future fundraisers include “fill the pew” as people donate $100 per seat. A 12-person pew could raise $1,200. That future fundraiser has a goal of $35,000, Malone said.
Once the first phase is completed, a second phase would be to construct a cafeteria/dining hall. “We can create an atmosphere of love and cleanliness to encourage all to eat in fellowship together,” Malone said.
The entire project is estimated to cost $800,000, Malone said. People willing to assist the church can contact Malone at cdmfree24
Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.