FBC Jacksonville Downsizing 90 Percent of Its Campus, Will Go ‘Multi-Site’
[Baptist News Global] First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida, once one of America’s most influential megachurches, determined Sept. 8 to downsize its downtown property footprint by 90 percent in a cost-cutting move the senior pastor described as necessary for the church’s long-term survival.
Under the leadership of pastors and co-pastors Homer Lindsay Sr., Homer Lindsay Jr. and Jerry Vines, First Baptist Church earned the nickname Miracle of Downtown Jacksonville after buying up real estate left behind when department stores and smaller retailers started relocating into suburban malls in the 1970s.
Today the church covers 10 city blocks with buildings including a sanctuary built to seat nearly 10,000 people that was dedicated in 1993.
Heath Lambert, named last year as sole senior pastor of First Baptist, said once a blessing, the congregation’s central location has become a curse as the city continues to expand farther away from its urban core.
“If you want to get people to come to First Baptist Church on Sunday morning, you have to get them to do two things they never do,” Lambert said during his Sunday morning sermon. “You have to get them to come to church, and you have to get them to come downtown.”
Lambert said that after 20 years of declining membership, the downtown church needs about one-tenth of its current space. Plans approved by the congregation on Sunday call for consolidating all operations into one city block.
To continue reading, click here…
[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Bob Allen and first posted at Baptist News Global]
A Call To Action
Too many churches in America are lacking in discernment. Do you find yourself wishing you could help? Do you have a love for Scripture? And a desire to write to edify the church?
I hear every day from people who want to make a difference but don't know how to get started. To answer this need, I created Writers Write: The 5-Day Challenge.
This mini-course will jumpstart your goals by showing you how to write in a way that will have people saying “I care about that.”
Right now Pulpit & Pen readers can get Writers Write: The 5-Day Challenge at a special 25% discount.
Get your writing in front of people who will actually read it. Don't miss out on this special deal. Click here to get started.
God Bless, Cody Libolt