Building on Faith

Photo by Don Wilkins, Messenger-Inquirer | dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com

David Rodgers, Pleasant Grove Baptist's music and children's pastor, talks about the 111-year-old building, left, that will soon be replaced by the newer, modern facility that have a sanctuary double the current size. The new church on Kentucky 56 in Sorgho is expected to be ready soon after the new year.

From the outside, Pleasant Grove Baptist Church's new sanctuary appears ready for Sunday services.

But on the inside, work is still being done by Hayden Construction of Owensboro -- the general contractor of the project.

David Rodgers, the church's music and children's pastor, said it will be after the new year before the congregation of the 111-year-old Sorgho landmark will move to their larger, modern house of worship.

Although the church is going through this change without a lead pastor, Rodgers said the building process has gone forward on faith.

"It's amazing what God is doing here," Rodgers said. "Because everything by the books says this shouldn't make sense. People are joining the church, people are getting saved, our numbers are going up.…God's got a plan and a purpose for this church here."

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was established in 1835. The current church on Kentucky 56 was opened in 1908 with a sanctuary capacity of about 300.

The new $2-million sanctuary will more than double its size and contain a larger stage with a choir loft.

A welcome center along with staff offices and additional classrooms are also part of the project. The parking lot is also being expanded.

Pleasant Grove does offer two services -- the first at 8 a.m. and the second at 10:30 a.m. to help with the growing congregation.

Rod Kuegel, a deacon and lifetime member of Pleasant Grove, said having more worship space will be welcomed when it happens.

"It's probably been two years since my whole family has been able to sit together," Kuegel said. "We scatter so the seats are left open for visitors. I'm looking forward to having a sanctuary big enough that our family can sit together, and a visitor, who comes with three or four kids, doesn't have to hunt for a seat."

As far as the old building, it will remain with its grand, stained glass windows that illuminate the century-plus-old sanctuary.

"We'll find a use for the old sanctuary," Kuegel said. "And I think we'll become a more effective tool for the Lord in our community."

Pleasant Grove also owns the old Sorgho Elementary School building next door, which houses the church's daycare, children and youth ministries.

The Rev. Jerry Tooley, former director of the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association, is currently serving as Pleasant Grove's interim pastor.

Rodgers said there's a chance that the church will have its new pastor by the time the new building opens.

"We're thankful that God is allowing us to be part of what He's doing," Rodgers said. "We've got neighborhoods on both sides of us and across the road from us and that's why God planted us here to impact this community. And we want to do that to the best of our ability."

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com 270-691-7299

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