BRANFORD — Demolition on First Baptist Church in Branford started early last week, making plans for a new church building a possibility for the future of the First Baptist Church congregation.
The site where the former First Baptist Church building sat is now being cleared of the rubble of its remains. Once the debris is cleared, the church can come to a conclusion on what the plans for the future will be.
“I know it’s sad for those in the community to see a building that has been here for so long be demolished, and I know some are upset, and rightly so,” Pastor Wade Howell said. “The saying where one chapter closes, a new one opens still holds true, and we hope moving forward that the congregation will grow and the community will be pleased with the new building that is to come.”
The old church building had not been used for roughly two years. There were leaks in the roof that warranted a new roof being put on to replace the old roof, which caused water damage structurally as well as mildew and possibly mold, which appear with any extensive water damage that may be present.
The church has been holding services in its Christian Life Center during that time.
Along with the water damage and leaking roof, the old building was also built in sections, which meant that many entries and exits were viewed as security risks.
“Too many exits makes it hard to keep up with ensuring that the building is safe and secure for our congregation and their families,” Howell added.
Howell has been in the ministry for 20 years, he is a graduate of The New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he also taught for two years. He began at First Baptist Church of Branford in September 2018 as the interim Pastor, to which the church then asked him to step up as lead Pastor in January.
The plan for the future in moving forward is to build a new structure for the worship services so that they are separated from the Christian Life Center.
The purpose of the Life Center is meant to be an asset to the community, for several community services, one of the services that Pastor Howell wants to implement is a Senior’s Day, with the idea of having a once a month time to where senior citizens of the community can come to the Christian Life Center for a few hours of recreational activities and games they might enjoy, along with a complimentary meal.
“We want the Christian Life Center to be an asset to the community, that’s what it was intended for, so we certainly hope we can rebuild, and have a vision set forth in time, to get this building back to the use it was intended for,” he said.