Church hopes to impact local economy - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Church hopes to impact local economy

April 30, 2006

Tifton -- One Tifton church is looking to have a big impact on the city's local economy. Northside Baptist Church broke ground for a new sanctuary, one that will put millions of dollars into Tifton's economy through a local contractor.

Church members are excited to see their family grow.

Northside Baptist Church has multiplied throughout it's 53 years, but it wasn't always this way.

"Oh it was real small, we just had 16 members, maybe 18 members, we met in the tent," said Wilene Jackson.

The small army tent Wilene Jackson remembers has become a 15-hundred person congregation. It will soon reach out to more people in Tifton, with a new 6.5 million dollar sanctuary.

"As the younger generations, the ones under me, they'll be able to look back and see that we made history, that we've come a long ways," said Torrie Pettiford.

"We've crammed so many people in a building that's far too small, and we just branched out in faith, bought 47 acres on Fulwood Road, and this is a culmination of a six year dream that God has given us," said Cindy Evers.

Church service was held outside Sunday for the groundbreaking event. For members who have been at the church since the beginning, it's a milestone.

"Well it means for the future that we're going to reach out and touch everyone that we can in this world, and in this town," said Jackson.

A tractor pull signified the groundbreaking, a symbol for the future church, which will grow in time.

Unfortunately the tractor pull didn't go as planned. A little girl was run over by the tractor's wheels as the congregation began to pull the tractor. Luckily she wasn't seriously injured.

Church members say it was a gift from God that it didn't turn out worse, but just another way God has blessed their church.

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