FBC Dothan transfers deed of property to St. Jamescomment (0)
January 17, 2013
By Neisha Fuson
They didn’t have to but First Baptist Church, Dothan, decided to give it away.
The Columbia Baptist Association church transferred the deed of a church building and property to St. James Baptist Church, Dothan, which was in need of a place to call “home.”
First, Dothan, planted South Lena Baptist Church that met in the building located at 511 South Lena Street in Dothan. The land and building was owned by First, Dothan, but South Lena Baptist started meeting there in the 1960s.
St. James Baptist, an African-American Columbia Association church, began sharing the same building with South Lena in 2009, according to Mike Golson, associate pastor of family ministries at First, Dothan.
But when South Lena’s Pastor Don Falgout passed away Feb. 5, 2012, the congregation decided it was best to disband. That meant First, Dothan, had to decide what to do with the building and property.
First, Dothan, formed a study group to determine the best course of action, Golson said. At the same time, St. James’ leadership (including Pastor Albert Williams) began praying and fasting about the church’s ministry in the future and where the church would meet.
After several meetings between the two churches, First, Dothan’s study group (and members) unanimously decided to transfer the deed “free and clear” to St. James.
Williams believed “the Spirit had His way in [the meetings]” and said, “It’s a blessing to us to have our own identity now. It’s like someone renting an apartment for a while and then buying (his or her) first house. It’s a foundational (and) groundbreaking moment.”
On Dec. 2, 2012, Jerry Grandstaff, director of missions for Columbia Association, shared a special message with approximately 125 attendees at what is now St. James’ church building. Edwin Morriss, vice chair of deacons at the time at First, Dothan, who also led the study group, shared about the process of the deed transfer decision. Attendees were “grateful, excited and emotional,” Golson said.
Williams said the deed transfer process “just shows how great God is moving in (Alabama) churches. Race is not an issue. … God does not care about race, so why should we care about race? God cares about souls being saved.”
And St. James hopes to “turn the community upside down for God … by being the light, the salt and the city on a hill” to the community, Williams said.
“We can finally call this place home.”