Room to grow

Published 9:38 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

The worship was never more upbeat, and the people were never more excited than Sunday when Clanton First Assembly of God dedicated its newly-completed $1.4 million facility.

Everyone from the youngest kid to the oldest adult participated in the dedication service, and each one communicated a message that has quickly become a mission statement for the church — the best is yet to come.

“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former,” words from Haggai 2:9 flashed on two dropdown screens at the front of the sanctuary from projectors mounted on the ceiling.

“We’re very thankful God has allowed us to achieve this momentous feat,” Pastor Randy Reid said.

Several guests joined Reid on stage to officially welcome the congregation into a new era of service. These were Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver, architect Dave Reese with Turner-Batson, Brandon McLemore of Acton Construction, Mark Haynes of SouthFirst Bank, and three district officials of the Assembly of God — Billy Glover, Otis Hughes and Ed Wilson.

Also present in the audience were several members of the Clanton City Council and other local dignitaries.

“I hope you outgrow this 400-capacity [building],” Driver told the congregation and visitors.

Reid said it meant a lot to him that city and county leaders thought enough to attend Sunday’s ceremony.

“It was a blessing to me to see community leaders come out,” he said. “It let me know we have city leaders who are truly interested in growth, development and programs of the city.”

Attendees were treated to a church history video presentation, which started with the church’s origins in the 1930s and ended with a photographic timeline of the new facility’s construction. Groundbreaking was held Dec. 30, 2007, and the first cut was made in February of this year.

The $1.4 million figure does not include sound equipment and chairs.

The church has received nearly 100 chairs but is still waiting on about 300 more they are expecting by next month.

“This has been a very long time coming,” Reid said, looking back at the progress the church had made over the past 70-plus years.

More than 350 people attended the dedication service.