It's been a long journey since that fateful night of the fire in October 2018 when our beautiful church burnt to the ground.
After the outpouring and love and support we received from family, friends, the community, and people from around the country, we felt God calling us to rebuild His church in downtown Wakefield once again.
We didn't think it would be easy, but with COVID and everything else in this world, it kept getting harder and harder to believe we'd ever get it done. Cleaning up the property after the fire was extremely expensive. The cost of building materials and labor has gone through the roof! Twice in two years, we had building designs quoted by builders, and twice we had to go back to the drawing board to create new designs to fit our budget. But we're ready and excited now --and we're asking for your help to get us over the finish line to meet our budget shortfall. We're building a new building for a new day, and the good Lord willing, we'll break ground in the spring of 2023 to build the new First Baptist Church of Wakefield!
In case you don't know, or even remember how we got here, read on...
On the evening of October 23, 2018, minutes after a rainbow was seen arcing over the church, the steeple of the First Baptist Church was struck by lightning and quickly became a devastating 7-alarm fire.
The burning church could be seen from miles around. The Tall Spire, visible from across Lake Quanappoit, appeared to be engulfed in a tower of flames.
What had been a fixture in Wakefield as a vision of faith, hope, and beauty became a fiery inferno in minutes.
This GoFundMe page is dedicated to supporting the First Baptist Church in the aftermath of the devastating fire that destroyed the historic 148-year-old building. Jean McBain, the church’s Treasurer, is handling the disbursement of these donated funds.
The church worked with LDa Architects (www.lda-architects.com) to create a design for the new church building, and we broke ground in April of 2023 with plans to open the church by Easter, 2024.
All gifts donated to this GoFundMe effort will be used to build and furnish the new church on the corner of Common and Lafayette Streets in Wakefield. We plan to create a welcoming building for the church and community members with much-needed space for cultural, artistic, private, and civic events. We believe that by God's grace and strength and your support together, we'll create a new church building for a new day!
To read more about our current ministries, check out our website: https://www.fbcwakefield.org/ministries
Even without a permanent church building, we've been able to conduct ministries and missions in our borrowed church space. Members of our church and community have volunteered to serve 60+ people in need of a meal and fellowship every month for almost 15 years through Shepherd's Table. Children and family members from the community have been participating in our Creativity Lab programs since January 2023. We began the Barnabas Ministry in 2022, a monthly program serving people who are participating in treatment programs for addiction. The Dress-a-Girl ministry involves sewing new dresses for girls around the world to let them know they are loved by us and Jesus Christ. Every Christmas season, we participate in Operation Christmas Child to create "shoe boxes of love" for children in Appalachia and all around the globe. And we have Small Group Discussion Meetings every Wednesday night and Sunday morning, open to the church and the community. If you're interested, in learning more or getting involved with any of these programs, we'd love to have you join us!
Here we are during COVID with the "bags of hope" we created for people in Wakefield and surrounding communities who are homeless and in crisis.
For the last 5 years, we've collected and delivered gigantic bags of toys each Christmas for the "Toys for Tots" program.
And we continue to be a congregation of people who love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and seek to share and serve Him in all that we do.
Thank you for reading our story. If you like what you see, we invite you to join us. Come and See -- God is doing a new thing in Wakefield!
Grace, peace, hope, and love,
Your Friends of the First Baptist Church of Wakefield