Sunday, November 18, 2018, will forever be a historical day for First Baptist Church Umatilla.
“It will be a day that I will never forget,” said pastor Brooks Braswell. “Life changing for all who were in attendance!”
Sunday was the first day in years that the church gathered together outside in one service. Two thousand chairs were rented and almost every seat was filled with families from First Umatilla and a sister church Jerusalem Worship Center that meets in the old church building on Orange Lane in Umatilla.
“In my 11 years as pastor of FBC Umatilla this was the single greatest day of worship I’ve ever experienced,” said Braswell. “After almost seven years of having three separate Sunday morning services with an average attendance of 1,550, we finally brought everyone together at one time to worship the Lord. The size of the crowd, the spirit that was felt, and the excitement in the air was contagious.”
This service was the start of a campaign to build a new 1,200 seat worship center on our 17-acre campus. The music was excellent, the Gospel was given, and a vision was cast for First Baptist Umatilla as we reach forward to the years ahead. As a special event during our service, Jerusalem Worship Center joined us in worship.
“FBC Umatilla has the vision to ‘forget what lies behind and REACH FORWARD to what lies ahead’ in our campaign for a newer larger sanctuary space,” Braswell said. “God has blessed our church beyond measure through our spiritual growth, our facility growth, and our financial growth.”
In 2006 Jerusalem Worship Center purchased the old sanctuary building on Orange Lane from FBC Umatilla and went into a mortgage agreement with them rather than taking a loan from a bank. Braswell said that he has been challenging his church to “be a blessing” and asked them if they would be willing to “give a sanctuary away.”
“Everyone was moved in their spirit and was 100% on board with blessing this church,” Braswell said. “So on November 18, 2018 Jerusalem Worship Center joined us in worship and after our congregation built an altar of rocks that we have been praying over for 40 days, I had the privilege to announce that we as a church we’re going to forgive the debt of $320,000 and bless Jerusalem Worship Center with the sanctuary.”
“I ripped up their mortgage in front of all 1,800 in attendance and it was like heaven opened up in that moment and God’s presence filled the air,” Braswell said.
By Josh Gussler, FBC Umatilla, November 21, 2018