"Having several Sundays with a full church is what got us started looking at an expansion," said Walker.
Cordell Bragg, chairman of the church's Future Facilities Committee, said plans began when the church hired Harbor Engineering of Lexington as a consultant to look at the church's options.
"We looked at remodeling and an addition to the old church, but decided that parking would be a problem if we added on to the current church," said Bragg.
"We decided to build and have more room," said Bragg. "We hope more people will come to church and the church will lead more people to the Lord by offering an opportunity to the world."
Chandler donated the 10-acre site after the church began looking for a new site.
Expected to be 18 months before construction is complete
"The first phase of construction began a couple of months ago, said Bragg. That includes the Sunday school classrooms and the 380-seat multipurpose room. The church expects it will be 18 months before construction is complete and the building is ready for use.
The steel frame and other necessary metal were purchased a year ago to get a better price, then delivered this spring, said Bragg.
The second phase of construction, scheduled within the next six years, will include a new sanctuary that will front on U.S. 127. The multipurpose room will be converted for use as a basketball court and fellowship gatherings.
Bragg said no major improvements have been made to the old church in more than 30 years. The old church is for sale.
The 600-member Junction City Baptist has an average attendance of between 135-150 people on Sundays. The first church was built in 1873, then torn down in 1946 when the brick church was built on Main Street. An education building was added in 1946.
Bragg said Walter and Polly Benedict are the only current members that were there when the church was built in 1946.
Kentucky Steel Inc., of Winchester, furnished the steel building and Phillip Patrick, of Carlisle, is contractor for the job.