AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – The First Baptist Church of Amarillo is expanding its youth center to not only accommodate the growing student population, but also to give them a safe space to gather.
The nearly $40 million, more than 77,000 square foot project will be dubbed “The Loft,” funded entirely by the church.
It will be a multifunctional building where students from the 7th year in college can come whenever they want.
The Loft will include four floors for different age levels, parking, two basketball courts and volleyball courts and other sports and meeting places.
The expansion is due to the church expanding its current youth center, but the new one will have multiple gathering spaces for nearly 300 people.
Howard Batson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Amarillo, says the church will be a safe place for young members to gather.
“It changed a church with maybe narrow hallways or corridors into a place where you just want to be, hang out and visit. Have a refreshment at the cafe or whatever. I just think it’s a really cool place for kids and they’re looking for that, and we’ll provide it for them,” Pastor Howard Batson said.
Pastor Howard also says the expansion will allow the church to be more personal with its students.
“It will allow us to cross paths with the lives of our students almost daily and not just twice a week. Parents can know where their children are, what are the influences in their life. It will be a good thing for children to want to go to church to be in their own space,” Pastor Howard Batson said.
The church wants to use the new space to be able to help influence young students on the right path.
“I think this will expand our student ministry not only with more students, but also in depth to allow our students to be here and let First Baptist Church be the primary influence in their lives, their values so that they have good values,” said Pastor Howard Batson.
First Baptist expects to begin in September and expects the project to take up to two years.
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