Solid foundation: Church begins major construction project

Published 9:02 pm Tuesday, August 11, 2009

West End Baptist Church has begun phase one of a three-phase building project that will include a new sanctuary, educational facility and offices.

The first phase is a two-story building with a nursery and children’s Sunday School rooms on the first floor, and classrooms for young adults on the second floor.

Also included in phase one is the pouring of a slab for a 1,100-seat sanctuary and the external structure of that building.

The new facility will be located at the corner of Second Avenue North and Martha Street, across the street from the existing church building.

“West End decided several years ago that we were running out of space,” said Andy Williams, chairman of deacons. “We began praying about that and felt God was leading us to expand our capacity.”

Williams added the children’s building should be complete by next year.

The internal construction of the sanctuary will not occur until phase two. The new sanctuary will house a pulpit and choir area, wrap-around balcony and a half dozen prayer rooms.

“We have a very active prayer ministry here at West End,” Minister of Music Eddie Lightsey said. “That’s very special to us.”

The educational building will lie adjacent to the sanctuary on the east side.

Then comes phase three, another two-story wing on the west side of the new sanctuary. This building will house additional adult Sunday School rooms plus administrative offices.

“This is a project we’re doing for the future,” West End Pastor Tony Smitherman said. “We think Chilton County is going to grow, and the church is the foundation of the community.”

As for the current sanctuary, it will most likely serve as a fellowship hall, gymnasium, and youth educational building.

No decision has been reached regarding the fate of the old sanctuary.