Tri- City Baptist Church: “The Church is not closed”

By: 
BRANDY TEMPLETON
Staff Writer

Over the years, Tri-City Baptist Church has endured some tough times, along with the good.

Mitch Long, member for 19 years, said he’s seen a lot of those changes.

He’s now serving as church administrator and trying to encourage and help the other members navigate through those changes.

Long wants to focus on the positive future of the church and put the past in the past.

“We’ve been through ups and downs,” he shared. “Now we are planning to celebrate God’s faithfulness though it all.”

On July 21, the church will celebrate 30 years of ministry.

They have invited back former pastor Dr. Ruffin Snow to give the 10:30 a.m. sermon. There will also be special music and a covered dish at 12 p.m. Along with children’s activities afterwards.

Tri-City is also excited to bring back chartered members, including some from the very first church service.

With small beginnings in Ed and Viola Delp’s living room, the church started out with just 21 people in attendance on March 15, 1989.

“They were seeking God’s will with the possibility of a new church,” Long said.

In 1989, they acquired some land (the church has 50 acres now) and broke ground on June 2, 1991.

In 2001, with some 2,000 members, the church realized they were quickly outgrowing their facilities, a new sanctuary and family life center were planned. They buildings were completed in 2003.

Over the years, Tri-City has had other ministries, including Vietnamese, Hispanic, and Laotian ministries.

“We try to reach everybody according to what the Bible says in Acts 1:8,” Long said.

One of their most known ministries was their Christian school.

As for the Christian school that Tri-City started in 1996, it was operated by another organization for the past year.

Even though Tri- City Christian School was the name of the school, in reality the school was no longer a supported ministry of the church.

Long wants to make clear that the church was not operating Tri-City Christian School in the 2018-2019 school year.

It was under the leadership of the “No Boundaries” ministry for the 2018-2019 school year.

Long said the school was transferred to No Boundaries with the intentions that it was a good decision for the church and for their ministry.

“The ministry approached the leadership at that time in 2018 and asked if the ministry could operate in our building, according to Long”

He said that the confusion comes because the “new” school retained the name of Tri-City Christian School. However, the school was basically leasing space from the church.

Long said that the sudden closure was unexpected because the decision was made late in the year.

“It put some of the parents, kids, and teachers in a difficult situation,” he said. “We didn’t foresee this happening.”

Long also said the church was disappointed because it had members that were a part of the school and still maintained a bond with the school because of its history.

“We really felt for the school,” he said.

Right now Tri-City Baptist is working through the transition of the school closure.

Long says that the church doesn’t know what the future holds for another educational ministry.

“We haven’t had a chance to digest everything that’s happened,” he said. “We know it’s not in the church’s best interest for the coming school year.”

What Long does believe is that God has a great future in store for Tri-City.

“You can’t move ahead if you are continually looking in the rearview mirror,” he said. “We want to continue to strive for what God will have us to be and whatever we do we want to do with excellence.”

For more information, visit www.tcbc.org, call the church at 465-6644, or come by for a visit.

The church is currently hosting Vacation Bible School, and will have children’s AWANA starting during the school year along with its Student ministry, and regular Sunday morning activities and worship service.

Sunday School is at 9 a.m. with worship service at 10 a.m., there are also activities every Wednesday evening beginning at 6:30 pm.

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