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Berney Points shares facility with Presbyterian churchcomment (0)

April 9, 2009

By Cary Hughes

More and more often, Christian denominations are seeking unique ways to cooperate.

But nothing says unity like meeting together under the same roof.

And ever since the congregation of Trinity Presbyterian Church moved in with the congregation of Berney Points Baptist Church, Hoover, members of the two congregations not only have passed each other in the halls but they also have become friends and ministry partners.

“We have been able to reach more people for the kingdom of God because of the relationship that He has established between us,” said Rich Lusk, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian.

Formerly known as Heritage Reformed Presbyterian Church, Trinity was in need of a bigger facility after outgrowing its building in Vestavia Hills.

While seeking out facilities in the area, Trinity approached Berney Points Baptist in 2004 about the possibility of holding its services in the Birmingham Baptist Association church’s building.

Berney Points’ members welcomed the congregation with open arms, moving their Sunday School to an earlier time so that while they are in their classes, Trinity’s members can worship in the sanctuary. Afterward they swap.

The bond between the two churches is a strong one. Every Wednesday morning, members of both Trinity and Berney Points go to The Ministry Center at Green Springs to serve the poor.

They serve each other, too.

When Berney Points’ parking lot was in need of resurfacing, about 20 men from Trinity showed up on a Saturday morning to work on the asphalt.

The Trinity congregation also took up a love offering to help a single mother who cleans the building each week.
And that’s just the beginning of its kindness, said Anton Fourie, pastor of Berney Points.

“When we have members who are in the hospital, several of the people from Trinity come to visit them,” he noted.

In turn, Fourie’s congregation has reached out to Trinity’s members, with the senior adults serving as “grandparents” to the young people of the Presbyterian church.

“It is such a joy to see our church be so kind and loving,” he said.

And Fourie, who came on staff at Berney Points in 2007, has served as a “great mentor” to Lusk.

“As a young pastor, it has been very beneficial to have someone like Anton help me in my ministry,” Lusk said.

The churches also have been a financial blessing to each other.

Trinity came at a time when Berney Points was struggling financially, and the rent it has paid has helped Berney Points minister more effectively.

Trinity also is able to put money toward its building fund as it saves for its own building.

“We will always be grateful for Berney Points giving us this unique opportunity, but the most lasting memory that I will have is the relationship God has given us during the past several years,” Lusk said.

And when Trinity moves into its new building in Cahaba Heights this spring, Fourie said Berney Points will rejoice with its sister congregation.

“We will celebrate with them and encourage them with the gospel,” he said. “We will exhort and pray that God will continue to bear much fruit among their congregation. We will join our hearts together with them and praise God for the great work He has done in us.”

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