By AFBC Staff

“I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
Psalm 118:17

While the Apostle Paul frequently admonishes us not to look back the psalmist reminds us that it is good to recount the deeds of the Lord.

On Sunday October 4th Pastor Michael M. Cook took us for a journey, a journey that led us back in time. Is it possible that just a short season ago our church was 7 million dollars in debt? We were struggling with a property that could not be sold, interest payments that were hard to meet and frankly, a future that was unsure.

Pastor Cook shared that as of today we have sold the downtown property, paid off all debts and settled with the BNSF Railroad. We have 1.6 million dollars in the bank and are completely debt free. God is faithful!

Let’s sit back and rest? No! There is work to be done. Souls to be won! We must move forward with fervor. Pastor Cook now redirected our attention to the future.

Where do we go from here? Pastor Cook reminds us that whatever we choose to do we must be united in thought and deed. The enemy would like nothing more than to divide our congregation.

In 2013 – 2014 our church leadership conducted a needs assessment and identified five areas that needed to be addressed by our fellowship. These are what we consider “Tools for Success.”

• an outdoor play area for our children
• additional classroom space for children and preschool ministry
• the relocation of our church offices to the main campus
• signage
• storage

We are thrilled to report that today through monies from the Eternal Stones project and gifts from the congregation, our children are all smiles as they slide down slides and climb on the bars in the new playground.

Earlier this year AFBC launched the two year Hope Effort to raise just under 1 million dollars to provide for additional needs, namely the addition of the space that will accommodate the children’s/preschool ministry and church offices. To date we have had approximately $496,000 pledged to the Hope Effort. Of that amount approximately $141,000 has been received. As you can see, we have a little ways to go.

Setting our sights on these important improvements is all well and good. But Pastor Cook reminds us that we cannot neglect our general operating budget to fulfill our desires for the future. We must be good stewards and take care of today.

Pastor Cook proposes a two phase approach. Phase One would include using a portion of the funds from the railroad settlement to complete the building addition and the signage on the corner of Paseo del Norte and Richland Hills. It would also allow us to place $225,000 in a reserve fund should we need it in the future.

Phase Two challenges the fellowship to a new project, a basic building that would be situated to the north of the existing building. This new building would allow a large multi-purpose room that could be divided into smaller rooms. It would also provide a needed storage area. Off the back of the building would be a recreational area that could include basketball hoops, etc.

On Wednesday, October 14 at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday, October 18 at 3:00 p.m. we will be holding our quarterly church conference. At this time Pastor Cook will discuss the details of these projects and offer the congregation and opportunity for discussion. Plan now to attend.

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