AUGUSTA — Nearly a half-century of sharing the gospel in the Glenn Hills community was celebrated on Sept. 13 in a final homecoming in this south Augusta neighborhood.
The bittersweet gathering signaled the deeding of the church’s property to the Augusta Association of Baptist Churches and its rebirth as the Augusta Mission Center at Glenn Hills. Nearly a hundred former members attended the evening service that focused on honoring the past and dedicating the facility to even greater ministry in coming decades.
The property is being transformed into a setting “to utilize and facilitate mission church plants, mission works, training institutes, and ministry evangelism activities,” Associational Missionary Dwayne Boudreaux explained. The Lumpkin Road facility will fill a ministry void in the struggling community which has been largely neglected by social service agencies.
Neglected part of Augusta
“Other parts of Augusta have assistance from groups such as the Salvation Army. What does south Augusta have?” Boudreaux asked during the service.
“Nothing” was the immediate response from one person in the pews.
Boudreaux used the opportunity to explain “all that is going to change” due to the generosity of the Glenn Hills congregation and its desire to see the area reached for Christ.
Yet, while it will have a strong presence in south Augusta it will serve the entire city – not only as an incubator for church plants but providing leadership training association wide.
Lucille Boyd, widow of first pastor Robert Boyd who served from 1968-78 and a second time from 1982-92, expressed her approval of the new use of the property.
“I think this is wonderful. It would make Robert so happy to see this new direction of the building and its facilities. He was ‘sold out’ to missions and nothing would make him happier than having a mission center established here,” she said as she entered the sanctuary.
Boyd passed away in November 2012.
Service honors memories
The service was interspersed with hymns from the Baptist Hymnal and testimonies from members, now adults, who talked about Vacation Bible School, summer youth camps, and marriages and baptisms of themselves and later of their children and other loved ones. Tears were frequently wiped from eyes as the past lived again, if only in memories.
“To be an international missionary today you don’t need to go to China or Africa. The world has come to Georgia, it has come to Augusta, and all you need to do is walk down your street.”
J. Robert White
GBC Executive Director
Boudreaux presided over the ceremony in which GBC state missionaries Frank Nuckolls explained the Augusta Project – a detailed approach to reaching the city as part of the GBC-Augusta partnership – and John Bryan who spoke on “Where Do We Go From Here?”
GBC Executive Director J. Robert White presented a plaque to the church for 47 years of ministry and in recognition of the potential for the mission center.
“To be an international missionary today you don’t need to go to China or Africa. The world has come to Georgia, it has come to Augusta, and all you need to do is walk down your street. Everyone who steps inside these doors will have an opportunity to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he told the crowd.