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Trussville’s CrossPoint Baptist partners with FBC Akroncomment (0)

June 17, 2010

By Doug Rogers and Zach Pratt

In a shady spot in the corner of the property, W.C. Walton was enjoying a front-row seat for history in the making.

In his nearly 93 years of living, most of it in the small west Alabama town of Akron, Walton certainly has seen his share of history. He remembers having just a wagon and a buggy before the days of trucks and tractors.

But nothing quite compares to the sight of 60 volunteers constructing a church in a part of town where no church has been before.

Of course, this isn’t just any church. It’s First Baptist Church, Akron — his church.

A member of First, Akron, “since I was grown enough to know I was a baby crying,” Walton can think of only one word as he watches the volunteers from CrossPoint Baptist Church, Trussville, hard at work: “joy.”

“We are blessed enough to have some help. We are really blessed,” Walton said amid the echoes of hammering.

The building project, which took place June 7–11, was the realization of a dream that began about three years ago. “We started talking about building a church, but we didn’t know how we were going to do it,” explained Norman Hunter, co-chairman of deacons. “We knew we needed another church. We had a lot of children but no classrooms to educate them.”

Hunter soon met Bill Wallace, director of missions for Hale Baptist Association, and told him of the need for a new building. Wallace offered his help and put the church in touch with Mel Johnson, an associate in the office of global missions at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.

Johnson then presented the need to CrossPoint Baptist, which spends a week each year helping to construct a new church building somewhere in the United States.

Although CrossPoint considered several projects farther away from home, God clearly led it to make First, Akron, its 2010 project, said Executive Pastor Steve Parr.

“We just really feel like we’re an answer to prayer for them,” he said.

Members of the construction team began arriving June 6 and worshiped with the First, Akron, congregation in its current building. The next morning, a full crew of volunteers, which included members of churches CrossPoint has helped build in previous years, began putting up walls on the concrete slab two blocks away. By the evening of June 10, the closed-in structure was hosting worship for members of the construction team and First, Akron.

Those who passed by the site as the church was going up saw barriers being broken down with a black church in a predominantly black community being built by predominantly white volunteers.

“To see our brothers and sisters come down like they did from Birmingham is just heartwarming,” Hunter said. “We’re all trying to work together to build up God’s Kingdom here on earth.”

The church’s new location is significant, too. A railroad track runs through the middle of town, and this is the first church to be built north of the track. It’s something God had planned, Hunter said.

“To have this church built right here is going to be a great asset to the town of Akron. I think it will bring it back to life,” he said.

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