A sanctuary was constructed at the corner of West Lexington Avenue and South Maple Street at a cost of $40,000 and dedicated Nov. 3, 1912.
The church, with a membership of 400, celebrated its 15th anniversary in October 1925 by breaking ground for construction of an educational building adjoining the sanctuary. It was completed at a cost $40,000.
Between 1931 and 1940, church membership grew to more than 1,000 and its first parsonage was purchased in 1945. The sanctuary and educational building were completely remodeled in the late 1950s at a cost of $190,000.
Additional property at 117 W. Lexington Ave. and the Greyhound Bus Station on South Maple Street were purchased for use by the Sunday School in the 1950s.
A variety of new ministries were started for the deaf, senior adults and singles in the 1970s and the church provided financial assistance to Cherryland Baptist Church in Traverse City, Michigan for several years. Members traveled there to help the new church and also undertook mission trips to Brazil, Africa and other areas.
In 1973, the church began purchasing adjacent property on West Lexington Avenue and later on Gay Street and South Burns Avenue. On Oct. 3, 1976, a $700,000 Family Life Center, with classrooms, lounge, gymnasium and recreational facilities, was dedicated.
For several years in the 1980s, the church held two morning worship services until a new sanctuary at the corner of South Maple and Gay Streets was dedicated Easter Sunday, 1990. The fan-shaped sanctuary was designed to seat 1,000 on the first floor, 102 in the choir and 500 in the balcony. It cost $2.9 million and included an unfinished basement.
Fifteen years later, work on completing the basement as additional educational space, installing additional elevators to make the building more handicapped accessible and upgrading the sanctuary with new lights and carpet, began at a cost of $1.6 million and was completed in 2006.
Today, the church has 2,355 resident members. Sunday School is held at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday with worship services at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. It also has a 10:45 a.m. Sunday children’s church and special activities for youth at 6 p.m. Sundays and Wednesdays. In addition, members of the church minister regularly at the Eastern Kentucky Correctional Institute at West Liberty and conduct weekly Sunday morning classes at the Clark County Detention Center.
The church’s Live Longer and Like It Club began in 1975 and is open to all seniors in the community. In addition to the club’s monthly potluck meals and a program, the LLL Band performs regularly at nursing homes and assisted living facilities throughout Kentucky and has been to Ohio, West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia and Colorado.
Eighteen men have served as pastor of the church in its 100 years. Dr. Ron Stone, pastor from 1971 to 1983, will speak at a special 10 a.m. worship service Sunday, Oct. 24, followed by dinner on the grounds and an afternoon concert beginning at 1:30 p.m. featuring various church musicians.
As part of its anniversary celebration, a Youth Bash will be held at 6:30 p.m. today at the church. From 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, a communitywide children’s carnival will be held on the church parking lot. It will feature inflatable slides, petting zoo, pony rides, games, prizes, balloons, popcorn and the Balloon Man from Jester Ministries.