Spiritual milestones are important moments or events that serve as historical markers along one’s spiritual journey.
For example, the time I accepted Christ, my baptism, my first sermon delivered on a Sunday night as a high school sophomore during “youth week” at First Baptist Church, Milledgeville, the opportunity to serve as a Baptist Student Union summer missionary as a college student, my ordination to the Gospel ministry and my call to each pastorate, especially taking my first church, are strong spiritual markers.
As you look back at God’s leading and providing at each milestone, you affirm His faithfulness. Churches have spiritual journeys marked by milestones, also, and appropriately set aside special days to celebrate God’s faithfulness.
One such milestone is coming up for the church I serve, Fayetteville’s McDonough Road Baptist Church.
On March 6, 1994, a caravan of 86 cars left the parking lot of Second Baptist Church on Norman Drive, College Park, and drove to a brand-new site on McDonough Road in east Fayette County. When the last car exited, the family of faith known as Second Baptist Church closed one chapter of congregational life and began another era at its third location.
Second Baptist Church was founded on Sept. 25, 1921, and was located on Southeast Main Street, College Park. The church grew and flourished in that location until 1967, when airport expansion took the original site. Longtime member G. W. Northcutt donated land to build a new facility on Norman Drive across from North Clayton High School.
The church relocated in 1969 and continued a strong ministry in the College Park/Riverdale area until the late 1980s, when the membership began to decline as members moved away. The church kept ministering to its local community.
Another church, Christian Fellowship Baptist, needed facilities and approached Second Baptist about the possibility of purchasing their property. After prayer and study, the church voted to sell and relocate to Fayetteville. Both congregations shared the Norman Drive buildings until the Second Baptist family transitioned to Fayette County in 1994.
Twenty-five years later, McDonough Road Baptist Church is strong and active. The 835-member congregation entered a new worship center in 1999 and completed a Christian Activities Building in 2006. The church ministers to all age groups and draws persons from Fayette, Clayton, Spalding, Henry and Fulton counties.
Our Christian Activities Building allowed us to offer Upward Basketball in the fall of 2006. We added football and cheerleading the next fall and Soccer sometime later. Through our Upwards Sports ministries, McDonough Road Baptist has impacted hundreds of children, students and their families. We are in the process of signing up for our 2019 Upward Soccer season.
The church family also partners with several local schools in Fayette and Clayton Counties. At Whitewater High School, we enjoy a relationship with football, band, baseball and soccer. We recently hosted the baseball team’s annual “First Pitch” season opening dinner. We’re having “Baseball Sunday” on March 24 and inviting the high school teams to join us for worship and lunch.
At Fayette County High, we partner with football and band, and at Lovejoy High School, we have a strong relationship with football, girls’ basketball and ROTC. We’ve also been heavily involved with Kemp Elementary and Kemp Primary Schools in Clayton County.
Along with a presence in these schools, church members serve in various ways in the community, volunteering at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, the Fayette County Senior Center and the Pregnancy Resource Center.
The church usually takes several mission trips each year across the U.S. and internationally, including Brazil and the Dominican Republic.
This year we have a team leaving Friday for an annual evangelistic trip to Mobile to share the Gospel during Mardi Gras, and have teams going to Appalachian Outreach in Jefferson City, Tenn., and a singles group returning to the Dominican Republic in July. Also, one of our ladies is returning to Brazil with the Fayetteville First Baptist Church trip to Santa Catarina during spring break.
Our mission statement is, “Our purpose is to celebrate and worship God, introduce people to Jesus and nurture believers to fully follow Jesus Christ.”
We invite you to join us for our Silver Anniversary Celebration on Sunday, March 10, at 10:55 a.m. with lunch to follow.
[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church, Fayetteville, Georgia. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, near McCurry Park, and invites you to join them this Sunday for Bible study at 9:45 and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them online at www.mcdonoughroad.org.]