Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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February 14, 2014

Trinity making strides toward big move — While several churches have been able to carry out a strong presence and rich history close to Pauls Valley’s downtown, the ability to thrive in the future depends on accommodating a possible expansion in membership.

For years, this has included Trinity Baptist Church along Chickasaw Street and would have continued to be true if it weren’t for ambitions that go beyond the space available.

As a result, those like its current pastor Dwayne Johnson are seizing the opportunity to go above and beyond with not only a new place, but a change in location that will continue the spiritual outreach of its founders.

“This church has served us well over the years,” said Johnson. “It’s just time to move on… we’re basically building something for the next generation.”

The history of the church goes back to the 1930s and has had three expansions over time.

The one issue that continues to limit the church is the building’s architecture and accessibility to members who have trouble getting around.

The first goal of the new structure is to create a place where all of their members can easily get around in a more effective way of ministering.

It was about a year and a half ago when the congregation got serious about making the dream happen on property the church has owned for some time now, according to Johnson.

As a result, the project began not long after Christmas. They still need to raise quite a bit money to pay for everything, but as of right now, they are a third of the way to their goal.

“The lord has provided so far and will continue to provide,” said Johnson. “This is actually happening, it’s going to get done.”

It became apparent in recent years that there was not enough space to handle all of the ministry plans, especially those geared toward growth in the youth areas.

Once completed it will allow them to reach out in ways only talked about before, including using a good part of the facility as an education center as well as hosting a church related basketball league.

It will include a sanctuary that will hold around 350 parishioners, up about 125 from the current facility.

With about 35,000 square feet, it will be a multi-use facility that will have its own gym and a walking track. The facility will be available for rentals when not being used by the church.

“We believe that’s going to create more excitement in the people at Trinity,” said Johnson. “We believe it will increase excitement in building contributions.”

Due to winter weather progress as been limited to dirt work.

Johnson noted once the stable weather sticks around, the next step should not be too far away. Once things really get going the goal is to be in the building in 12 to 14 months.

The fate of the old building will likely be to sell it. Any other expansion will be made near the new location as they have seven acres to work with.

“We’ll be able to change the way we do things by having a variety of resources,” said Johnson. “We want to be known as a high usage facility, we want something going on all the time.”

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