I pulled into the parking lot of Faith Baptist Church for the 9 am service. The building was much larger than I had envisioned. My friends Mike and Pat arrived ahead of me and were introduced to Bob Port, one of three Pastors, who gave them a quick tour. This building is a dream most Pastors never get to realize. Everything is here. There is no shortage of room with children and youth facilities, ministry rooms, bible study rooms for adults and children and a sanctuary that can easily hold 400 people. You could see the hearts and minds of many leaders over decades of planning, administration and implementation. The facility itself is a powerful testimony of the mission and call of its occupants.
Pastor Bob then lead my friends into the gym. Mike had sensed a familiar feeling since the moment he walked in. It was not Deja Vu. He suddenly realized that he had been there 32 years earlier when the church had opened its gym to Youth for Christ teens from Arbor Hill. These boys were all fatherless or had absentee fathers. Mike was the bus driver and helped organize the activities. As he recalled those wonderful days, he knew that the lives of many young men had been changed.
We then walked into the sanctuary that was almost to capacity. The worship team was magnificent. I could see my friend Tara Cappola singing, surrounded by a full band that included a grand piano. Following the worship segment (about 20 min), a young man, Travis, shared a brief testimony. Faith Baptist Church paid for his Seminary education and gave him the opportunity to preach five times. He is currently teaching Greek at Loudonville Christian School. Sr. Pastor Peter Mason then welcomed everyone and introduced the speaker, Bryan Monty, a recent graduate of Mid-America Baptist Seminary. I was thrilled to see how this church encourages and builds up its members in their gifts.
Bryan’s message was entitled, “Responses to God’s Greatness”. He shared scriptures from Job 42:1-6 and talked about how God can do the impossible. As I looked around at all the people, I began to think about how God has called me on my Church Journeys to edify the Body of Christ and connect the congregations in the Capital Region. The magnitude of this call began to make me question if it was truly God…and then I heard Bryan proclaim that with God ALL things are possible! That profound truth resonated with me and encouraged me in my calling. At the close of the service something beautiful happened. The worship leader, Paul, approached the platform with the pianist. With just the grand piano and Paul’s gifted voice, they sang one of my favorite classic hymns, “Great is thy Faithfulness”. This was a powerful moment as Philippians 1:6 came to mind – “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”.
Today, Faith Baptist Church is still reaching out to the community to be a help. Its sphere of influence far exceeds practical geographic or economic parameters. It can only be measured by the immense heart of God so prominently demonstrated in this wonderful expression of Christ.
They have a lot to offer through various activities and opportunities to serve. They have a strong Children’s program and a large population of teens. This church raises up leaders of tomorrow! The church pamphlet entitled “Faith Ministry Guide” listed many ministries offered including Food Pantry, Manna Meals, Grief Care, Chosen (ministry to adoptive and foster families), and Helping Hands (meeting the financial needs of hurting people through generous gifts). Faith Baptist Church has great strength in encouraging and offering opportunities for people to get involved to serve. I was very pleased with my visit and would encourage anyone looking for a church to try this church as a possible open door from God.
Church Page – http://faithcrossroads.org
By Donna Hansen Munafo
(Contributing writers Michael and Pat Frati)