(Orange, Texas)


May 25, 2013

First Baptist Church Orange opens church for community

ORANGE — Connecting our Community to a Complete Life in Christ - Colossians 1:28 and First Baptist Church Orange Mission Statement

First Baptist Church Orange lives the church’s mission statement of connecting the community in the newly opened facility located at 7637 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Orange,

The church, first established in 1878 by Reverend Andrew Peddy with a congregation of 18, will hold a Dedication Service at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 26. The Official ribbon cutting will be held at a later yet to be announced date.

The new building hosts several areas to promote social interaction.

“There was a time when the church was the center of social life,” Minister of Worship John Bickham said. “We got away from that and trying to bring church back to the center again.”

The design is of a community center and not the traditional layout of a church.

The Sanctuary doubles as a gym for Upward Basketball and Cheerleading Camp. The area also includes a stage with multi-media capabilities and theatrical lighting. A area behind the stage hosts showers and restrooms to help first responders in the event of a disaster such as a hurricane.

Senior Pastor Barry Bradley said the church housed many first responder volunteers in the days after Hurricane Ike.

“We cooked 24,000 meals in 28 days,” Bradley said. “We cooked the meals the American Red Cross delivered.”

The sanctuary can hold 400-500 people. A balcony area is available for those who would like to attend church but nervous about being seated with the congregation.

“This allows a person a chance to ease in without feeling overwhelmed,” Bradley said.

The church also offers a coffee cafe.

“It serves the best coffee in town,” Bickham said.

Bickham also said the cafe will serve lattes, smoothies, cappuccinos and muffins.

There is an outside balcony available as well as an area for live music and possible karaoke in the future.

“It is all about building relationships,” Bickham said. “It is a place to laugh with friends.”

The pre-school to kindergarten area hosts an indoor playground and several rooms for different age groups and an area for nursing mothers.

The area will also be available to rent for birthday parties and other events on the weekends.

“We would like to see parents bring their children on a rainy day during the week,” Bradley said.

“The building is designed for the community and not just a Sunday building,” Minister of Students Jason Fuller said.

Fuller’s wife, Shelley, is Preschool/Nursery Director.

“Journeyland, the pre-school  to kindergarten area is a secure area with cameras so parents can check on their children without disturbing them,” Fuller said. “We have only been open a few weeks and we have already had kids saying ‘I want to stay longer’.”

There is an area for elementary age children called Harbor Kids.

“We would like to have kids saying ‘Mom, Dad, time to get up for church’,” Fuller said. “The gospel message has not changed, just the delivery.”

The Peak is the second largest room in the church and designed for high school and college age kids.

“The name is from the highest point in building a realtionship with God,” Fuller said. “The Peak is getting closer to God.”

The room is designed for young adults and older teens to hang out.

College night for 19 and older meets 9 p.m. Wednesday.

“We selected that time because usually they are off work by then and they do not have classes the next day,” Fuller said. “They usually stay until around 11:30 pm.”

Sunday Services

8:30 am Early Bird Connection Groups*

9:45 am Celebration Service (Traditional)

9:45 am Connection Groups

11:00 am First Journey (Contemporary)

11:00 am Trek 252 (Children’s Worship)

* Connection Groups are Sunday School classes



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