Focus stays on outreach with new facility - Word&Way

Focus stays on outreach with new facility

PARK HILLS — May 1 marked a significant date in the lives of New Heights Church and First Baptist Church, Farmington, as both congregations celebrated the new physical home of a vision God stirred more than 10 years ago.

New Heights dedicated its new building that day with music by Inner Strength, the church’s worship band, testimonies about the work done to ready the site and construct the building, and celebration words by New Heights Pastor Rocky Good and First Baptist Pastor Bill Miller.

The two ministers shared how God had touched Miller’s heart in the late 1990s to lead his church to begin a new work in the Farmington area and how the dream became a reality. Churchnet Executive Director Jim Hill presented a certificate of celebration to the church.

Good also challenged New Heights members to grasp the congregation’s purpose statement and continue to pursue relationships with people in their community and obey Christ’s teachings as the means to honor and serve God.

The dedication day served a threefold purpose, Good added. First, it was a way to thank Miller and First Baptist for getting the new work started and supporting its ministry. "It could not have grown and become a church without their support and prayers," Good said.

Second, he explained, New Heights members were able to publicly thank everyone who helped secure the land and get the new facility built and ready for worship and service.

And, third, the people honored God. "God has been at work every step of the way," he added. "Needs and resources that only God could have coordinated and prepared for with such perfect timing is what we experienced all along."

In 2001, First Baptist formed Beyond Our Walls, a team to help coordinate the new work effort. In April 2003, the church called Good as its church planter, with a May 1 start date. That summer 25 people, mostly First Baptist members, began meeting to develop a vision and a name for the church start. They held their first worship service at First Baptist on Sept. 6, and then began meeting at the Senior Center in Farmington on Oct. 5.

Since 2003, New Heights has met in living rooms, on porches, in driveways, in park pavilions, at a creative arts center, in school cafeterias, in sister churches and even in a doctor’s office Botox room for worship or to celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Members also have been baptized in private and public pools, in rivers and in First Baptist’s baptistry.

Since moving into the new facility, New Heights has averaged around 220 people in Sunday morning worship. The church also meets at 6 p.m. on Saturdays. While the new building has everything members need for worship, it lacks a baptistry. That’s because New Heights wants to keep its focus on outreach.

"We didn’t want to spend the money at this time on a baptistry because we believe it is best to do so [baptize] in public or ‘out there,’" Good said. "Baptism is one’s public profession of their faith in Christ at New Heights, so we always hope to be doing baptism out there for others to see."