When the congregation of Missionary Grove Baptist Church decided they had outgrown the church building that was built in 1959, they could have never guessed how God would show up and show out at new building dedication a couple of years later.
“We were having three services to make room for everyone,” said lead pastor Matthew Greer just before worship service on Sunday morning. “We started with just $76,000 in the bank and a vision, God provided the rest.” And provide, He did.
Sunday morning, more than 500 packed the new 8,000 sq. ft. building located just beyond the former sanctuary on Missionary Grove Church Rd.
He said one of the reasons behind such significant growth is they don’t leave anybody out from 90-years to 9-months-old. “Our focus is on everybody outside of here and that gets everybody inside of here. There are somewhere around 100 churches in Benton County. They are good churches. At Missionary Grove we are for the un-churched, the de-churched and the lost.”
There were chairs enough for 500 people during the dedication; however, it was not enough. There were many people standing in the back of the sanctuary when Greer invited former pastor Ken Zike to join him on the stage. Zike was the pastor there for 23 years before retiring in 2011 when then youth pastor, Greer took over the reins. Sunday attendance averaged 50 people then. Today, there are more than 350 people that regularly attend the Baptist church.
After Sunday’s dedication, the church hosted a hamburger and hot dog luncheon.
Missionary Grove Baptist Church originated in 1895 in a school house building. On Sunday, the church will celebrate 124 years in existence.
Greer finished with, “We are always going to do things differently. We are going to treat you so many ways that you are going to like one of them. We just want to love on people. In the end, it is okay to not be okay, it’s just not okay to stay that way. We are open to everyone.”