Pleasant Grove Baptist Church is set to open their fifth house of worship in late January after nearly a year and a half of construction.
According to Worship Pastor David Rodgers, Pleasant Grove began pursuing a long-term goal of building a new space for its congregation nearly seven years ago. At the time, the church was reevaluating how they could more effectively meet the needs of their growing church members. Their need for additional space lead them to pursue options for creating a new building that would allow them to continue to grow.
Rodgers said that they had grown beyond capacity and needed “more room to do things in a more effective way.” The church began asking, “How can we use the resources God has given us to better proclaim who He is?” Their solution was to remain on their current property and join the Christian Learning Center and present sanctuary by adding a new sanctuary to accommodate their growth.
“We’ve been functioning as two church buildings with a parking lot in-between,” Rodgers said.
The new sanctuary marries the two buildings, meaning that the entire church is now located under one roof as one, united building. The renovation means additional space for church offices, a church lobby and four new Sunday school classrooms, all of which the church desperately needed.
The current sanctuary has a capacity of 300. The church holds two Sunday morning worship services to meet the demand of their growing congregation, but they have still run out of space.
“Our first service is pretty full and our second service is at maximum capacity so we are ready to get into a new building,” Rodgers said. Their new sanctuary seats 600, allowing for growth now and in the future.
Their growth is reflected in their need for additional space on stage, as well. Their current 10 by 15-foot stage has a choir loft that seats 20 singers, but the current choir greatly exceeds the available space. Pleasant Grove’s choir currently averages 40 singers, requiring choir members to spill over into the congregation space. The new stage allows choir members and band members to worship on stage without struggling for space.
Pleasant Grove’s current build includes the creation of additional parking since the new sanctuary is built on top of the previous parking lot. It also includes other renovations on the property that have been completed in the last year like an entirely new baseball diamond, concession stand and playground on the west end of the property to accommodate their growing t-ball ministry.
“The sanctuary is going to be the hub, where we gather, but all the extra things, like offices, classrooms, the ball diamond, a new parking lot, the lobby,” Rodgers said. “All of these extra things will help us be more effective in ministering to our people.”
Rodgers said the carpet was laid last week and construction workers were tackling the final trim work. After many years of operating at maximum capacity, the members of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church are anxiously awaiting gathering in their new, spacious building as a church family next month.
Pleasant Grove was established in 1835 as “The United Church of Jesus Christ, Pleasant Grove.” After a revival meeting of local Baptists in the community now known as Yelvington, a meeting was held in the home of Andrew Jones on May 3, 1835. It was at this meeting that the church was established by three couples who served as the church’s charter members. Church meetings were held in their homes and accompanied by a meal until the church sought to build its first permanent house of worship in 1839.
The first property was later sold in 1850 for $17 when the church body relocated to their current site on KY 56, where they established their second home that served the church for 14 years before the third building was completed in 1867. By 1907, Pleasant Grove began building its fourth and current house of worship. In 1940, an educational building was added but was later destroyed by fire in 1962. In 1963, the current educational building was built as an addition and then later added onto again in the 1980s to create additional fellowship hall space.
In the summer of 2004, Pleasant Grove purchased the old Sorgho Elementary School, known currently as the Christian Learning Center, which now houses classrooms, youth space and the church’s daycare. The purchase of this property resulted in the acquisition of the school’s baseball diamond. Just two years later in 2006, the church purchased an additional seven acres of land located west of the property.
These more recent acquisitions resulted in enormous growth due to the success of Pleasant Grove’s Little Sluggers program and daycare, among other ministries. In 2018, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church broke ground on their fifth house of worship which is slated to open in late January.