Easley First Baptist to dedicate new facilities

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

EASLEY — According to Easley First Baptist Pastor John Adams, the physical transformation his church has been undergoing the past few years hasn’t been readily apparent.
“You can go past our church and never know something’s been going on, building-wise,” Adams said.
But the construction is nearly done, and it’s almost time to celebrate.
“I cannot put into adequate terms how huge this is for us,” Adams said.
churchThe church will hold a Dedication Day program Sunday, April 17, to celebrate the end of its current building program.
The new facilities include a state-of-the-art kitchen, an indoor children’s playground — part of the new youth and children’s facility — and a music suite containing four small rehearsal rooms and a “huge, huge” rehearsal space that can also host small concerts and gatherings, Adams said.
While the current congregation will certainly enjoy the new facilities, that’s not why the church launched its $6.8 million program, Adams said.
“We did this for the generations to come,” Adams said. “Not only to shape this generation, but the next generation and the next and the next. We did this for all of Pickens County, because we want all to come to know Christ, to have a personal relationship with him.
“We want them to know that they are loved and welcomed,” he continued. “We have a common theme here, ‘Welcome to the banquet table.’ We want everyone to come to God’s one banquet table.”
church2The arrival of the recession in 2008 came after the church had begun the building program.
“We started this with the worst timing in the world,” Adams said. “But our church said, ‘We can’t stop.’ We made some wise decisions.”
The goal was not to build a “Taj Mahal,” Adams said.
“I’m not a brick-and-mortar guy — that doesn’t inspire me,” he said. “What inspires me is when someone comes to know Christ in this building, when a family is restored that has been broken, when someone finds their calling here.”
The congregation hopes the new facilities will help feed the spirit.
“We want this to be a safe place, a welcoming place, an inviting place, a hotbed of spiritual transformation,” Adams said. “We want this to be holy ground so that lives can be transformed.”
“Gathering, growing and going” is a refrain you’ll often hear from EFBC members.
“That’s our definition of discipleship,” Adams said. “Everyone has two things they need to go and do — they need to serve the church and they need to go and serve the world. That’s something everyone can grab onto. It’s a good starting point.”
Dedication Day will begin at 9 a.m. with growth groups, Bible studies for every age. Worship will begin at 10:15 a.m., and the dedication of the church’s facilities will be held at 11:30 a.m.
At noon, a covered-dish luncheon will be served.
“It will be a spread,” Adams said. “It will be quite a meal.”
At 1:30 p.m. a musical celebration, “Voices of the Spirit,” will be held. It will be a worship service of African-American music, featuring the poetry of James Weldon Johnson and led by the EFBC Sanctuary Choir and soloist Valisa Smith.
“The musical celebration will be second to none,” Adams said.
The community is encouraged to help the church dedicate and celebrate its new facilities on April 17.
“We did all this for you. This is all built with the idea of spiritual transformation because of what Jesus did for us,” Adams said. “Every boy and girl, mama and daddy, grandparent, single or married, whatever walk of life, you are welcomed here.  Come be our guest. Come be a part of the family.”