First Baptist Church of Stockton celebrated Easter Sunday by holding sermons in a recently purchased community center adjacent to the El Dorado Street location.
The community center was purchased from the Scottish Rite organization last spring.
The Scottish Rite organization has since moved to a new small space as of November.
First Baptist had its first dedication service at the former Scottish Rite location, which faces Alpine Avenue, on March 4 of this year.
This coincided with First Baptist Church turning 160 years old.
April 1 marked the third time services were held in the new center.
Currently, the church is using the center to hold some of its own activities according to Senior Pastor Brad Stahl.
“We hold Bible study there, we have a sports league that we do on Saturday mornings, there’s a basketball league for younger players in the big dining hall, prom for the high school and we have two basketball ball courts that the kids can play on,” said Stahl.
The community center also has a fully functioning kitchen church leaders hope to use to feed the local homeless population with help from an internal group called the “Breakfast Club.”
Like the former owners, the new community center is open to hosting events, with some stipulations.
“Yea we are open to that, one of our issues is that we do utilize the grounds a lot so our ministry will come first … but we are open to allow other organizations to rent out the space,” said Stahl.
Organizations looking to rent out space will have to adhere new policies added by the church including a firm no alcohol on the premises policy.
Reception to the new community center has been very positive with many attendees impressed with the new facilities.
“I thought that the service was really moving and the space was really big and comfortable. I’d definitely come back again,” said Irene Eugenio a first-time attendee.
Her husband Tomas Eugenio agreed. He said it felt like he was watching a Christian concert.
First Baptist Church holds Sunday service at 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. with a Spanish sermon at 11:15 a.m.