Harp’s Crossing members move into new building — completely debt free

Tue, 02/06/2007 - 4:37pm
By: The Citizen

Harp’s Crossing members move into new building — completely debt free

Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church in Fayetteville celebrated its 25th Anniversary last year, but that was not the only milestone for the church in 2006.

This past October, church members met in their new $5.5 million worship center — totally debt free. Harp‘s Crossing’s new building is completely paid for. The church was debt free prior to construction and remains debt-free today.

Harp's Crossing interior

Pastor Dennis Watson, who has served as the only pastor in the church’s 25-year history, said he believed that God was leading him and his congregation to build the building debt free. This would require a significant step of faith, he added, because the cost of the building would be far above anything the church could do on its own. However, Watson said he was convinced that God would provide, and the church would be much better off without a debt.

Further, Watson said he believed it would not only be an example to families in the management of their finances, but would be a “testimony to the community of an awesome God who provides for his people.”

Watson said, “When we started on this construction project the original cost estimates were just under $3 million for the entire project which included renovation of the existing worship center. If we had known then that it would cost us $5.5 million, without the renovation of the old worship center, we probably would not have had the faith to proceed. God got us started and he was faithful to complete it and provide miraculously the funds and the timing. This is truly a God thing and we want everyone to know what he has done. It is all to his glory and praise.”

At the beginning of the project, a large sign was erected prominently on the property that stated, “Financing Provided by Almighty God.” Each day, thousands drove by the sign on Ga. Highway 92 South in Fayetteville. Keith Turner, minister of education and staff liaison for the new building, said that it became the “buzz around town” as people throughout the community talked about the sign to church members.

Another unique aspect of the project is that the church did not hire a company to help with the fund raising. The church established a “Building to Expand” (BTE) team from its members to keep the emphasis before the people. BTE became the theme of the project, with the goal of building to expand the worship, fellowship, discipleship, ministry and mission of the church.

Initially, the church worked with LifeWay Church Architectural Services to establish a design and provide preliminary drawings for the building. Later, the church hired a builder, and contracted with a local architect to complete the working drawings. Turner said he felt that Gary Nicholson, LifeWay Architect, did an excellent job working with the church to help them determine the best type of facility to fit their needs.

The building is a 1250-seat worship center with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment for sound, lighting, and video projection. Also, the building includes rooms for music rehearsal, music library, instrumental rehearsal, offices, baptismal dressing, counseling, intercessory prayer, bridal dressing, hospitality, and media. Also, downstairs there is a 10,000 sq. ft. Student Center with café, youth activity room, and Sunday School classrooms. The new building has approximately 40,000 sq. ft. of space.

This is the fourth building project in the church’s 25-year history. Prior to the church’s move into the new building, it met for two Sunday Schools and two worship services in a sanctuary that seated about 600.

Harp’s Crossing has been in multiple Sunday Schools and worship services for most of the church’s history and, following the leadership of the pastor and staff, the church decided to remain in two Sunday Schools and two worship services even after moving into the new building.

“Our vision is to have an outward focus on the 30,000-plus people within the five mile radius of our church,” Watson said. “If we want to reach them we must provide a place for worship and Bible study. We cannot become comfortable and focus inward. We must ‘shine the light’ to those in our community, and beyond.”

“Shining the Light” is the church’s new theme, and it appears on the new logo.

“I believe the light that shines the farthest shines the brightest at home,” Watson said. “As we expand the base at home, we are better able to strengthen our mission efforts in the U.S. and around the world. I am thankful for the changes that have occurred in our international mission board that allow for our members to be more personally involved in volunteer missions as they work alongside SBC missionaries on the field.”

In addition to Watson and Turner, Harp’s Crossing’s staff includes Ken Helms, associate pastor of outreach for 19 years, Steve Owens, minister of music for 16 years, and Chris Watson, student minister for two years. A new staff position was added this year and Bob Naughton was called as minister of administration.

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