Massive New Church in Jonesboro Nearing Completion

June 16, 2004--Posted at 9:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO--"We think the Lord gave us this church for that reason. Not only to be the church in Jonesboro, but for this region, Northeast Arkansas and Southeast Missouri,"said Church Chairman Bill Panneck.

Central Baptist Church, on Main Street, in Jonesboro, will soon be moving to Harrisburg Road.

Nearly one thousand people fill the sanctuary on any given Sunday, and they say the congregation is out growing the building.

"The sanctuary is designed to seat fifteen hundred, but that is very comfortable seating. We could probably seat, if you scooted in real tight, about 1800 in our sanctuary,"said Panneck.

The new facility will house top-of-the line-video equipment for live broadcasts of the church service.

There is a family center with a basketball court, and a walking track, and the church is equipped to seat up to  800 for banquets.

A youth center will also be able to accommodate live music, or just about anything else.

"When we move into the facility and it's completely finished, architects fees and everything, we will have invested a little over 17 million dollars. The lord has just raised up the money to be able to do that. Of course, we are selling and have sold parts of our current location, so that is generating revenue as well.

Members of the church say one of the things they are looking the most forward to is worshiping together.

"See,right now, we are all spread out because we've been building. Now, all the families will be together,"said church member Diann Roleson.

It's an understatement to call this church big, but members say the biggest part is the congregation's heart.