A large crowd attended the groundbreaking ceremony April 2 at the First Baptist Church where a new expansion is planned. The $2.2 million project will see a large addition expected to be completed some time this year. On the right (l-r) are Pastor Paul Spate

Ponoka First Baptist Church breaks new ground

The money is there, the plans have been laid and the Ponoka First Baptist Church is ready to build its much anticipated expansion.

The money is there, the plans have been laid and the First Baptist Church is ready to build its much anticipated expansion.

A special groundbreaking ceremony was held April 2 at the church’s location in Ponoka where a $2.2 million expansion will change the way the congregation does its business. Speaking about the expansion was Pastor Paul Spate and associate Pastor James Crosina.

The groundbreaking was the culmination of two years of hard work and fundraising by the congregation, explained Spate. “We spent almost two years trying to determine the best way to go.”

“We had a number of plans actually and this is the one that’s worked out best,” he added.

Along with fundraising were logistical issues such as having to get the right of way on the back alley, as well as deal with a couple properties nearby that the church ended up buying. For Spate it’s an exciting time.

“We’re maxed in size and so it will allow opportunities for others. The other part is it’s designed to be multi-functional,” said Spate.

Pews, tables and chairs can be moved around with relative ease and the new layout is designed to allow for a variety of projects.

Crosina added a big discussion among planners was meeting the needs of those who use the church, which is not a Sunday only space. The goal is to embrace the community’s needs with projects intended to enhance people’s lives.

First Baptist Church illustration

“So this will open up not only room on a Sunday for us, but it will open up area for us to continue and grow and do things within our community Monday to Friday,” said Crosina.

Construction has started to allow for the footings to be installed and for a hopeful October completion.

This construction is part of a phased improvement, which will see the current building refurbished once the new sanctuary is complete.