Mission First opens doors to serve community

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PENSACOLA–“We are letting our city know we are here to serve them,” said Dave Snyder, pastor, First Baptist Church, Pensacola.

Students pack bags for the BackBack Buddies program, providing food for more than 300 children in public schools weekly.

The newly built 22,000-square-foot, multipurpose Mission First facility recently opened its doors, providing space and flexibility to be an equipping center for several of the church’s mission partners. In March, the church had a special time of responsive reading and prayer to celebrate completion of the mission and ministry facility.

We are excited to see how God will use this center for His glory in years to come.

Craig Bonelli associate pastor of missions, First Baptist Church, Pensacola

Ongoing mission projects include Church2Church food ministry, in which the church partners with more than 40 local churches to provide food for about 1,200 families monthly. Also, the building provides ample space for other mission projects, including Operation Christmas Child box packing, Sewing for Jesus and a foster family ministry closet housing clothes, backpacks, shoes and other items a family may need when caring for a foster child.

The spacious facility is home to Operation Christmas Child box packing parties.

The church middle-school group helped BackPack Buddies move into the new building and held a packing party with a group of students on mission from Joplin, Missouri. “Young people work hard and fast,” said Craig Bonelli, associate pastor of missions at the church. The youth group will continue to use the facilities with “serve days” where they pack food for Church2Church and BackPack Buddies.

Bonelli added, “We hope to take these ministries to the next level. Having a ministry center dedicated to missions and ministry will open doors we don’t see yet. We are excited to see how God will use this center for His glory in years to come.”

The church partners in mission work with other churches around the community, including Beach Haven Baptist, and churches from other states as well.

Mission First is a 22,000-square-foot multipurpose facility dedicated to missions and ministry in Pensacola and beyond.

An initial goal was to complete the building debt-free. Although construction prices increased the cost from initial estimates, the church celebrates having 100% of the cost being pledged and 80% of the cost already paid.

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