Dwayne Lewis and members of New Season Baptist Church walked from their temporary meeting place at an elementary school to a vacant church across the street where the 150 men, women and children laid hands on the building and prayed.
“All of us we went over there and we believed God for that building, but that wasn’t the building,” Lewis told Baptist Press, saying that God “was just testing our faith to see if we’d just step out and do that.”
“God told me you laid hands on the wrong building, but you had the right faith.”
The right building for the Southern Baptist congregation Lewis leads is the 76-year-old Bordeaux Baptist Church in a mostly African American urban community in Nashville where the once-thriving congregation had persevered yet dwindled to about five families unable to cover operating costs.
New Season Baptist Church plans to move into its new home Oct. 1, receiving with joy and thanksgiving the property that Bordeaux Baptist Church is deeding to the congregation that has had three meeting places since its 2009 launch at Grace Nursing Home as a mission of Joelton First Baptist Church in Joelton, Tenn.
“Even now, I have not landed,” Lewis told Baptist Press two weeks after his congregation received the gift. “In other words they talk about being on cloud nine. I’m like on cloud 29 right now and I’ve not landed. It blessed my heart so much.”
Bordeaux’s membership dropped significantly four years ago when its longtime pastor felt a call to a different ministry, even though the church has since been blessed with bivocational pastors and preachers who have not charged a salary, said Bobby Hatfield, a Bordeaux member who has fulfilled the duties of a deacon and trustee.
The 16-member congregation experienced “mixed emotions” in dissolving the church, Hatfield said of their last service Aug. 7 in a joint celebration with New Season and former Bordeaux pastors. Bordeaux members plan to accept Lewis’ invitation to join New Season and continue worshipping in the church Hatfield calls “holy ground.”
“We’re sad because Bordeaux Baptist Church is home for a lot of us,” Hatfield said. “But it’s also joyful in the sense that God’s Kingdom is going to continue to work here. We’re excited about continuing to work with Brother Dwayne and his church.”
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SOURCE: Baptist Press