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Dr. Howard K. Batson


Beautiful sacred spaces of old have never been created by the efforts of a single generation.  In fact, no architect of antiquity ever lived long enough to see his cathedral completed. Successive generations of masons passed down their passion for creating a sacred space in which to worship their God, the One worthy of their best. Some ancient churches have taken more than 500 years to build. A Gothic-style church in Ulm, Germany, for example, was begun in 1377 and not completed until 513 years later in 1890.


What captures me most is that these cathedral builders thought beyond themselves. Each generation laid the foundation for future generations to worship, learn, and know God better.


Like these makers of ancient cathedrals, through 130 years of building, the members of First Baptist Church of Amarillo have created a sacred space – a place to know God, to be with God’s people, and to form moral compasses within our children that will guide them to God’s way.


The first building constructed by First Baptist Church of Amarillo is still part of our campus, a 36x60 feet rectangular structure with a high ceiling and double doors – our Original Building. This first structure built by our forebears in the faith in 1890 remains an integral part of our campus, especially for funerals and weddings.


Like fifth generation cathedral builders, we honor our forebears by protecting and enhancing their gift to us. Even in those days of dirt streets, they built a beautiful edifice that stands as a landmark more than a century later.


We are also grateful for the generation which built our beautiful sanctuary. They had a vision beyond themselves. Like European cathedral builders, they thought about giving God their best and not about the easiest, quickest, or least expensive way to construct God’s house. They left us a legacy, giving sacrificially for years after the construction.


Of course, ultimately, we do not build sacred spaces to say to the community, “Come and see.” We build our church to equip our saints to “go and do.”


The forebears of our faith at First Baptist Church of Amarillo never envisioned building a structure as an architectural marvel alone. They built a base for missions. In fact, even as Dr. Yates (pastor 1924-1936) dedicated our beautiful sanctuary to the glory of God, he said,

“This church was erected as a missionary church.  God grant that it may never disgrace its name.  It must speak to our children of our missionary zeal.”

With the construction of our proposed student ministry facility, “The Loft,” we leave our children with a passion for the story of Jesus and a center for missions. Together, we declare that the Creator has redeemed His creation through the death of His Son and the glorious resurrection.  We are all called to share the story with the next generation. The proposed project described in this special edition of The Journal equips FBC to reach students for Christ like never before. Giving our best, we are calling the next generation to Christ, discipleship, missions, and ministry.

We are calling the next generation to Christ, discipleship, missions, and ministry.

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