Longview Baptist church breaks ground on sanctuary
April 19, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Growing Valley Baptist Church is celebrating a time of renewal this spring as its congregation recently broke ground on a new sanctuary building.
Church members were devastated at about 2 p.m. Oct. 6, 2011, when the roof collapsed on the building and the insurance company ruled the church a total loss, Deacon Vince Williams said.
"We had to demolish the building, but now we're in the process of building a new sanctuary," he said. "We had a groundbreaking ceremony April 7."
Growing Valley Baptist Church was organized in 1931 under the name Northcutt Heights Baptist Church.
"Later on after the church started to grow, older members suggested that name be changed to Growing Valley because it was growing," Williams said.
Members of the church have been meet at Oakland Heights Baptist since their building was destroyed, he said.
"It has been kind of hard for our members, but the congregation has stayed together," Williams said.
Williams credits the "love and respect of the members" as being the reason they have stayed together. Growing Valley Baptist has about 200 members on its roll, he said.
Dorothy Bell, the last original member of the church, attended the groundbreaking ceremony on April 7.
"I was really excited," Bell said. "The church has played a great part in the community."
The church is rebuilding at the site of its former building at 209 Harlem Ave. in Longview. Members are hoping to be moved into the new sanctuary by the end of August, in time for their 82nd anniversary in November.
"The congregation was excited. We had a great turnout at the groundbreaking from the congregation," Williams said. "The community was real excited, and there was a lot of love and fellowshipping during the groundbreaking."