JONESBORO – After meeting for more than three years on the campus of Arkansas State University (ASU), Central Baptist Church’s Journey campus has moved into a new facility on the northeast side of Jonesboro – in one of the most rapidly growing areas in the state of Arkansas.
A launch event for the new campus was held July 20 with two services. Central Baptist is led by Archie Mason, senior pastor, who also serves as president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.
The Journey campus is one of three sites of Central Baptist: its main campus is located at 3707 Harrisburg Road, the Word campus is located at 416 Calion St. and the Journey campus is located at 1701 Disciple Drive. A fourth campus – called Refuge – is set to open in downtown Jonesboro in 2015.
“Our vision is to be one church in multiple locations,” said Dan Reeves, lead campus teaching pastor of Central’s Journey campus. “Our mission is to reach those the church has not yet reached and lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.”
Reeves said the Journey campus has grown from 40 to more than 200 since opening in 2011.
“(The) Journey campus was our first campus and was somewhat of a prototype where we took momentum from a growing college ministry and leveraged it to continue to reach new people,” said Reeves.
Prior to January 2011 and the establishment of the Journey campus, four services were being held at the main church location, he said.
“We wanted to continue to reach college students, but not apart from the intergenerational aspect of the church. This allowed us to hold to that value,” Reeves explained.
“That year, God opened up space for us at Arkansas State University, where we basically rented the third floor of the Student Union, holding two worship services at 9:30 and 11 with all of family ministries (preschool, children and students), as well as adult life groups, meeting on and off campus. We believed that college students could lead now, and they responded. Over the last three years, the Journey campus has seen 200 baptized.”
The Journey campus facility worship center seats 600, which is expandable to 1,000, said Reeves, and includes areas for children, students and buildings for adult groups.
Beginning in August, the Journey campus location will add a third service at 8 a.m., as well as “Wednesday ministry environments for children, students and adults,” he said.
“The (Central) church’s college ministry, The Rising, will also hold its midweek college worship service in the new facility at 9 p.m. on Wednesday nights with around 250-300 college students,” Reeves added. “This location keeps us close to the ASU campus, but also places us in the middle of the residential community, joining those two mission fields while allowing 11 worship service opportunities each Sunday across our campuses. This equates to around 3,100 worshipping together each Sunday in 2014 in addition to our preschool, children and student environments.”