BY TIFFANY CUNNINGHAM
When I chose Gladeville Baptist Churc for WLM’S “Living In the Past”, I had an Easter on my mind. The church’s grassy side-yard served as my playground for the first 14 years of my life. The Glade Church, as it is now known, has grown tremendously since those days of my living across the street. I spent most every day playing with the pretty colored rocks in their small prayer garden, jumping my remote controlled Barbie Corvette off their front steps and riding my bike up and down their sidewalk. On occasion, I even went inside the building that was then half the size it is today. Although not a member, I remember attending Sunday-School classes and many services there with friends.
It was a simple time, a simple church. Since those days, there has been an explosion of growth and renewal in this town’s once “sleepy” Baptist Church. Gladeville Baptist, has turned into a dynamic regional church serving six counties.
The church was formed in 1879, four miles east of Gladeville in what is now part of Cedar Forest State Park. Located on the Gladeville square since 1880, the church steeple is a noteworthy landmark and can be seen towering proudly over the community from Interstate 840.
The building has seen various incarnations from its humble beginnings in a log cabin. For many years it was a “comfortable sized” church with just a few hundred members and then grew steadily in more recent years to over 3,000 members and a campus that encases most of the block. Advances include a new worship center in 2008 and the additions of a new student’s center, children’s area, automotive ministry garage and new chapel.
Expansion in both building and membership has been credited to a specific plan focusing on 8 areas of growth. The church is looking forward to seeing great things come to fruition through their Vision 2020 plan. It includes many outwardlyfocused ministries as well as offering excellent programs for infants to high school aged children.
With such an expansion and a sense of excitement in the community this congregation must be doing something right. Four outreach programs stood out as Pastor for Vision & Purpose, Craig Webb, gave me a tour. The Automotive Ministry, he explained offers a unique service to the community. Not found in many outreach programs, the church has its own garage on campus where they accept donated vehicles, repair them and give them to families in need.
The Sewing and Quilting Ministries serve to make quilts for those suffering with cancer and other illnesses as well as for creating Welcoming Quilts for newborns.
The Food Ministry is one I simply must experience one Wednesday evening. This program offers full training, under the direction of a real chef, to those seeking employment in the food industry. The C.H.E.F.’s Ministry is overseen by Chris Cox and led by Chef Vito Randazzo and judging by the menu board, he prepares meals that are more like a wonderful night out at a restaurant rather than that of the usual large group church fare.
Another ministry that sparked my interest was a satellite clinic for Charis. Located on the Glade Church campus, this is an excellent addition to the community for those needing medical care. Charis assists low income families with basic medical needs on a sliding pay scale and is a real necessity for many.
Since it’s inception in 1879, to my childhood days playing on its front steps, to today with its over 3000 members, Gladeville Baptist Church has continued to serve the needs of our community. To experience all that the church has to offer, they invite you to come for a visit…and then stay a while.
YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND:
8:00 am – Connect Groups
9:15 am – Celebration Worship & Connect Groups
10:45 am – Celebration Worship, Wee Worship (Age 3 – K), & Kidstuf (1st-5th Grade)
4:30-6:00 pm – Fellowship Meal (view menu)
6:15-7:30 pm – Activities for babies through high school
6:15-7:30 pm – Connect groups for adults
Pastor Bruce Grubbs and The Glade Church staff may be contacted at (615) 444-9550 or by visiting www.thegladechurch.org.