Church unveils new facility

Published 7:24 pm Monday, March 2, 2009

Some might have been in awe or even disbelief Saturday morning when Liberty Baptist Church cut the ribbon to its new 15,000-square-foot, $1.9 million multi-purpose building, complete with a fully equipped kitchen and full-length basketball court.

Some might have been in awe, but one person, at least, was not.

Sherry Price, a charter member of the church, said this expansion was exactly the vision she and other founding members — including her husband, Donald — had in mind when they began meeting together in 1977.

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“We had a big vision,” she said. “We wanted a church. We wanted to be a soul-winning church. We wanted buses going out to get children to bring them here. We wanted to be a lighthouse in the neighborhood for God’s work.”

It took a while for that vision to come to pass.

Over the course of the church’s three-decade history, church members met at the Coca-Cola plant and Nansemond Heating and Cooling before finally getting a building of their own.

And since that building came to place, community outreach continued to be a main focus.

Dr. David Blevins, senior pastor at Liberty Baptist, said the church took on this massive addition to provide even more for the surrounding communities.

“The reason we wanted to do this is so we could have ministries we never have been able to do before,” he said. “We want to be a blessing and a help to our community.”

Specifically, the new addition will aid in expanding the church’s AWANA program, a Bible-based program for children ages 3 to 12. The new facility will help launch Upwards Sports programs, which are recreational sports programs that infuse Biblical principles and lessons into the games.

“We believe our facilities are driven by our ministries,” Blevins said. “The ministries will dictate what we need to do in the way of the facilities.”

The building has a large fellowship hall, with direct access to both the gymnasium and kitchen, which could house any number of church functions and programs.

“We wanted to have a-first class facility,” Blevins said. “I think everything we do for the Lord ought to be first-grade; ought to the be the best.”

The new building was started in February 2008 and took 11 months to complete. Just two months into construction, the tornado that tore through Suffolk passed through Liberty Baptist.

Blevins said if another emergency hits the city again, the church will be able to shelter those in need.

For more information on the church, or church programs, visit