It’s not completely finished, but members of Gardendale First Baptist Church had the chance to worship briefly at their new campus on Sunday.
The church hosted a prayer walk at the campus late Sunday afternoon, giving members a chance to survey and pray over the new church.
The campus sits on 145 acres of land located east of Interstate 65 north, between the Fieldstown Road and Mt. Olive Road exits.
The prayer walk capped off a busy week for the church at the new site. On Wednesday, a 125-foot cross was installed at the site.
Pastor Dr. Kevin Hamm said last week that the church won’t be open in time for Easter as officials had hoped, but construction is progressing as expected.
“They were trying to get it done earlier [for Easter], but Brasfield & Gorrie is right on schedule,” he said. “We’ve just had so much wet and cold weather. It’s probably going to open in mid-May.”
Construction on the $19.8 million campus began early last year. The 104,000-square foot worship center will feature seating for 2,700 members, eliminating the need for three Sunday services. The church currently holds services at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. at the current campus at 940 Main Street.
Because the new campus will be built in phases, some members will attend Bible studies at the old church and then drive to the new church for worship services. Once the the new campus is complete, church officials will likely sell the Main Street property.
Hamm, who became pastor in 2006, said the new church wouldn’t have been possible without the vision of previous pastors and church members.
“I’m excited for the older members because some of them wondered if it would really happen,” he said. “We’re just standing on the shoulders of those who had the vision before I was at Gardendale. Praise God that they had the vision.”