Historic New Boggy Baptist Church, located right outside of Waskom in Bethany, Louisiana, will celebrate the highly anticipated construction of a new building with a special groundbreaking service on Sunday, May 1 at 3 p.m.
The church family will be participating in its first Pew Rally for the occasion, to benefit the building fund. The guest speaker will be the Rev. Bertrand Bailey Jr., pastor of the New Greenwood Baptist Church in Greenwood, Louisiana. New Boggy’s pastor, the Rev. Bryten Johnson, will deliver a groundbreaking sermon at 11 a.m. prior to the 3 p.m. service Sunday.
The theme for the day will be: “Rooted in Faith while Honoring our Legacy.” It’s based on the on the Bible passage Colossians 2:6-7.
Following the morning service, the church will have a fellowship on the church grounds. Hot, fresh catfish dinners will be available for $10 a plate.
The church is looking forward to a full-day of fellowship as they celebrate the groundbreaking of the new building.
“Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the new building will serve the church family, the community, our outreach programs and provide a safe meeting place for children and youth in the community,” said Johnson, who grew up in neighboring Waskom. “We are persevering in the midst of a global pandemic and praying as we walk by faith and not by sight.”
“This new building will provide a comfortable and healthy space to continue to grow our faith and provide a place of permanence that we can call home for many years and generations to come,” he added.
Johnson noted that, over the past three decades, the current interior of the church has shown signs of severe water leakage, with bent wooden beams and continuous leaks from old pipes that have been replaced. In 2019, under Johnson’s leadership, a new plan called “Vision 2025” was presented.
The church continues to be in its fundraising stage as they faced obstacles due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Johnson said the plans for the new construction include a new multipurpose room that can be transformed into a sanctuary, gym and meeting area for community forums and family gatherings. Plans also include a foyer, full-size classrooms, youth worship area, audio/media room, baptismal pool, choral loft and more.
“We look forward to forging supernatural unity and relationships as we work together to build this multipurpose building,” said Johnson. “Through this process, we ask for your prayers, support and financial contributions to make our new architectural vision a reality.”
Deacon Patterson, chair of the deacon ministry, said donations will help the church build a place of worship that will be accessible to the disabled.
Donations can be given through several platforms. Donors may send donations to New Boggy’s new construction fund through Zelle at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to P.O. Box 144, Bethany, Louisiana. Donations can also be dropped off at the church on Sundays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
“If you cannot give at this time, please pray that God will continue to guide and direct us,” said Pastor Johnson.
Giving the history of New Boggy, Johnson noted that the church is a small church built in 1869. Its walls were built during the post-Civil War reconstruction period.
“African American men and women paved the way for the church as they worshipped in a small white wooden box from 1869 through the 1950s,” Johnson noted. “The church has produced young lawyers, doctors, educators and many other professionals.”
Johnson recognized the church’s pastors throughout its history that have contributed to its growth.
“During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, under the guidance of the late Pastor Harry Blake, the church persevered while trusting the Lord. In the 1970s, under the leadership of the late Pastor Clarence Williams, the church was remodeled,” noted Johnson. “Additional classrooms and brick facades were added to the chapel. In 2019, under the leadership of Rev. Lonnie Hamilton Jr., the church once again remodeled, adding restrooms, a pastor’s study, finance office area, metal roof, new musical instruments and sound system.”