Signs Letters More Scottsville Ky
Signs Letters More Scottsville Ky – Scottsville Road Baptist Church in Bowling Green voted in the fall to become a “legacy congregation” as a campus of Living Hope Baptist Church. (Pam Henderson/The Baptist Cross)
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – In early 2020, two congregations in Kentucky met to consider joining forces to more powerfully advance God’s Kingdom. This fall, they saw that vision become a reality.
Signs Letters More Scottsville Ky
Scottsville Road Baptist Church in Bowling Green voted later that year to become a “legacy congregation” as a campus of Living Hope Baptist Church, one of the largest Baptist congregations in Kentucky.
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Despite the prime location on Scottsville Road, the church saw its membership dwindle until it could no longer support a full-time pastor. After more than a decade of steady decline, membership has dropped to nine, all seniors on limited incomes. John Mark Tobey, director of missions for the Warren Baptist Association of Kentucky, stepped in to serve as an interim pastor, helping to grow the membership to 27. Then came COVID-19.
In February 2020, before the pandemic, Toby met with the remaining members of Scottsville Road, planters from the Kentucky Baptist Convention, and a local pastor to determine next steps. Since a call for a full-time or bivocational pastor was not feasible, the only viable option was a partnership with a sister church. In August 2020, Scottsville Road Baptist Church voted unanimously to become a campus of Living Hope Baptist. The two churches merged, and the leading role goes to Living Hope.
“The reason we decided to merge with Living Hope was that they wanted to embrace our church and work with us,” said Scottsville charter member Linda Basham. “It won’t be the same, but we’re open to anything that will continue this work here — and we want to see lost souls saved.”
Scottsville Road is not the first church in Bowling Green to merge with Living Hope. Five years earlier Redeemer Church became a Living Hope campus and is now thriving.
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Benny Stoffer, Living Hope’s local pastor and coordinator of the merger with Toby, agreed with Basham: “Living Hope brings revisions and adds all the proven methods and resources and people to come to Scottsville Road, and then forms a new congregation that can let it burn.” the light here in this area and beyond.”
One of the advantages of the merger is tapping into the potential of a strong, growing community, whose church membership is approximately 14%.
The “new” church will remain in the same location, but the legacy of Scottsville Road Baptist will be refocused and “reinvested.”
“They will be able to better serve the community by releasing what God has entrusted to them over the years,” Toby said, “and leaving a legacy to position the church to move forward into the future.”
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A heritage celebration service was held on April 25 to reflect the humble beginnings and rich history of Scottsville Road. The church was planted in 1981 when eight families moved to Kentucky from St. Louis, Missouri. They began worshiping in homes, and over the next 40 years the church moved to its current location, had eight pastors, started a Christian preschool, and grew to 113 members. , and creative touch,” as noted in the Legacy Celebration service newsletter.
The creative outreach continues as members participated in the 30 Days to Harvest event where they knocked on doors for 30 days in a row and received more than 2,000 visits.
“The effort serves as a catalyst to find families who are hurting and interested in the gospel and are potentially interested in coming to our campus or starting a church in their home,” said Will Burnham, pastor of the Living Hope Scottsville Road campus. “They don’t come to church anymore, so we have to go to them.”
Burnham knows a thing or two about evangelism, having served as a missionary with his wife, Laura, on two different continents. While on the mission field in Athens, Burnham was contacted by a friend, Jason Pettus, senior pastor of Living Hope Baptist. Burnham and his wife prayed about their future, and Pettus suggested they leave the International Mission Board and return to the United States to consider helping the Scottsville campus and other mission strategies.
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The first service of the merged congregation was on May 2, and the renovation of the facilities soon followed. More than 100 attended the September 12 “new campus kickoff.”
“The decision to merge was a positive move for everyone involved,” Burnham said. “I am excited to work with Living Hope to see this church flourish.”
Burnham offered advice for struggling churches. “Being part of the [Southern Baptist Convention], you are not alone. There is always someone willing to help. It’s as simple as being willing to ask for help and knowing that we are stronger together.
“That’s the beating heart of the SBC, isn’t it?” Let’s work together, let’s advance the Kingdom,” he said. “If there’s a church out there that’s struggling, I’d encourage them to be willing to talk to a sister church in their district.” Plans are afoot to expand The Core, the Scottsville recreation center that began as a YMCA. Those plans call for adding 27,000 square feet to the facility, nearly doubling its size.
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Plans are in the works to expand The Core, the Scottsville recreation center that began as a YMCA. Those plans call for adding 27,000 square feet to the facility, nearly doubling its size. (Grace Ramey/[email protected])
The Core, a Scottsville fitness and recreation center that began as a YMCA in 2000, is looking to expand to meet the growing demand for gymnasium space in Allen County.
Ernie Stafford, The Core’s executive director, said a fundraising effort is planned to raise the estimated $2.6 million needed to add 27,000 square feet to the 40,000-square-foot facility on West Cherry Street.
“We want to build a new multi-sports complex that will have three basketball courts as well as space for volleyball, archery and batting cages,” Stafford said. “It would be a great asset to the community.”
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The grassroots body severed ties with the national YMCA organization in 2014 and was supported mainly by membership fees, donations and fundraising. There are now more than 1,500 unit members and, counting family units, there are more than 3,600 total members.
Meeting the needs of those members and youth sports leagues that use The Core’s current gymnasium is taxing the facility.
“We’ve really outgrown our facility,” Stafford said. “We have a small gym that used to be an Allen County high school gymnasium. We have a lot of kids playing youth basketball and volleyball. “It’s difficult for us to run those programs outside of this facility.”
Stafford envisions an expansion that will allow The Core to meet the demands of the growing area. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, Allen County’s population has grown by 5.8 percent since the 2010 census and now has a population of 21,122.
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“There’s a huge need for a new gym,” Stafford said. “Allen County is growing and over the next 10 years I expect we will continue to grow toward Warren County.”
That growth is being seen in the county’s youth basketball leagues, which have more than 800 participants this year.
“It’s a necessary project,” Harper said. “They were using the old gym at Scottsville High School, but there comes a point where that’s not a good choice anymore.”
“We need more gym space, and Ernie feels a new building in his facility would be a good solution. “Anything we can do to encourage kids to get involved in sport is a good thing.”
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Harper said the Allen Fiscal Court supports the concept of expanding The Core, but may not be able to contribute financially.
“I’m not saying we’re not willing to help,” Harper said. “But the fiscal court is mainly trying to expand softball and baseball facilities in the county.” We are trying to find funds for one quadplex with four fields. “People are kind of looking for it.”
The District Fiscal Court and the City of Scottsville do contribute to The Core by maintaining the high school’s lease and paying utilities, but the planned expansion will require the support of the community that helped launch the YMCA in 2000.
Support from the Laura Good Turner Charitable Foundation was key to the YMCA’s founding, and now Stafford is counting on more help from what he calls an “anonymous donor” who has pledged to match three-to-one whatever the YMCA’s capital campaign raises. The Core.
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Stafford is working with Bowling Green’s Builders by Design to develop a plan for the expansion.
“I feel like we’re going to do it,” Stafford said. “But we are still in the early stages. “As soon as we know what the cost will be up front, we can start fundraising.”
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