Blake Ligon, teaching pastor of Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro's Paragould campus, baptizes Reed Yarberry during Central Baptist's Paragould campus launch Aug. 12.
22 baptized, overflow room utilized, during Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro's Paragould campus launch Aug. 12
JONESBORO – Twenty-two people were baptized, and an overflow room had to be utilized during the launch service of a new campus of Central Baptist Church,
Jonesboro, Sunday, Aug. 12 at Greene County Tech High School in Paragould.
“This was our first Sunday. We were in an auditorium that seats 999 people, and we had 1,055 people there,” said Breck Freeman, administrative pastor of Central Baptist Church and former associate missions team leader at the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. “We had an overflow room. ... That was one of the most amazing things.”
“We had 15 people scheduled for baptism, but seven people who had already been saved came forward to be baptized,” said Freeman.
In addition to those counted during the worship service held in Greene County Tech’s auditorium, 219 children and church workers brought the church launch’s total attendance to 1,274.
Before launching its Paragould campus, Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro, had two Jonesboro campuses and a Newport campus. In the works for more than a year, Central Baptist’s Paragould campus was born out of the church’s recognition that around 200 church members were commuting to its other campuses from Paragould, according to Freeman.
Eighty-seven people attended Central Baptist Church, Jonesboro’s Paragould campus’ first new members’ class on the last Sunday of July. The next new members’ class is set for the end of August.
With 44,000 people in Greene County, around 44 percent of the population has no church affiliation.
“I think Central Baptist Paragould will give people a place to go,” said Freeman. “It’s a multi-generational church. Children to senior adults were all present on the first day. It’s a family atmosphere, but it’s also a church where single people can come and find their place. It’s where high school and college students can find their place.”
Central Baptist’s Paragould campus is already planning to add a second service to accommodate its first-ever service attendance.
According to Freeman, Central Baptist Church is currently seeking to purchase property for a church building in Paragould, a project they hope to begin within the next 18 months.