From left: Stewards Canada finance partner Rob Fish, Elder Team Chair John Deligdisch, Pastor Bill Thornton, Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge, Architect Ted Handy and building committee chair, Brian Anderson put the shovel in the ground on Sunday, June 10. – Julia Lovett/Metroland
The Flamborough Baptist Church broke ground in their decade-long dream of expanding their footprint.
On Sunday, June 10, surrounded by family, friends and dignitaries, Pastor Bill Thornton helped push the golden shovel into the ground. While using the analogy of a marathon, Thornton spoke of being changed by the process.
“I don’t know when I realized somewhere through the 10-year marathon campaign of this building that God isn’t only interested in building buildings, that building us, the people of God, to be more like Christ.”
Thornton addressed the congregation, who only minutes before had been let out of church to see the beginnings of a new reality.
“This was a huge dream to trust God for the future and to continue on what has begun ahead of us, I mean here we are almost 20 years later and with the same shovel.” — Pastor Bill ThorntonHe continued, “We know with marathons, marathon runners don’t tend to run alone, they run in packs,” he said while quoting Hebrews 12:1.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.”
Celebrating 109 years of the Flamborough Baptist Church, the 450-member congregation have been fundraising since 2008 and have raised $1.4 million of the $2.7-million price tag for the expansion.
“This was a huge dream to trust God for the future and to continue on what has begun ahead of us, I mean here we are almost 20 years later and with the same shovel,” said Thornton, referring to the current church and location.
Prior to moving to the 5th Concession East in the late 1990s, the congregation worshipped at the original church, which was built in 1909, at 6th Concession and Centre Road.
The expansion will include a resource and conference room, an upgrade to enlarge the kitchen and lobby, new washrooms and the lower level will have more space for youth and children.
“I just feel very honoured to be a part of this continuing movement of this church and just for all of the people here, the weather and of these young families, and yay God,” he added.
The ceremony included Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge and a few others who played a significant role in the expansion that is slated for completion in 2019. Architect Ted Handy, Stewards Canada finance partner Rob Fish, building committee chairperson Brian Anderson and elder team chair John Deligdisch were also in attendance.
According to Anderson, the new expanded space will have a multipurpose ability and can be used for various group meetings or can be rented out by the public.
“Groups up to 70 or 80 can meet in it, we use it for Sunday school, we can use it for … all kinds of things,” he said.
The contractor is set to start in mid July and has a work schedule of 26 weeks that will take them into January.
“It all depends on weather, trades, materials, it could be as late as March,” Anderson added, noting that the materials needed will mostly be Canadian and therefore should not be affected by the new American trade tariffs.
When all is said and done, Anderson said the church is all about community so they are hoping to have facilities for the young people but also give the Flamborough community a chance to use the space.
“We have some special events every year we invite the community to so continuing on and growing those.”