West Orlando Baptist completes expansion
Space was so limited at West Orlando Baptist Church that the pastor had to share his office with a Sunday school class, and every weekend he moved his desk and set up about 25 chairs so members could attend class.
The church, which has an Ocoee mailing address but is in Winter Garden, now has the space it needs to continue growing following a yearlong expansion project that started last summer.
The project includes a 700-seat sanctuary, a large foyer with seating and a coffee bar, seven additional Sunday school classes, an abundance of storage space, a covered drive-through and 200 paved parking spaces.
Pastor Kenric Barnett is excited about the modern updates to his church, including the state-of-the-art sound equipment and new all-digital format.
“I'm happy about it,” he said. “It's very practical for the different ministries. I'm excited that we have a building that will meet the vision that we saw a year ago.”
Prior to adding the new sanctuary, Barnett had to offer two Sunday church services just to accommodate the number of people in attendance.
“It's exciting to be able to worship together as a family again,” he said.
On Monday, the new playground was being delivered and set up.
The old parts of the campus will still be in use, as the old sanctuary, a multipurpose room, will provide space for the church's deaf ministry and for fellowships and meals.
The former administration area will house an expanded youth ministry and include a game room and hangout area. The offices can be used for smaller breakout sessions and counseling.
The existing education building will be a children's facility with more security, including check-in and check-out points. The church has a preschool program for infants through grade K-4.
Barnett said a formal dedication will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 2 and will include former staff members, pastors and City of Winter Garden staff who were instrumental in moving the project forward. This will coincide with West Orlando Baptist Church's 45th anniversary.
The church was started in Pine Hills in 1971 and moved to its current location in 2001.
IF YOU GO
West Orlando Baptist Church, 1006 E. Crown Point Road, Ocoee
INAUGURAL SERVICE: Sunday, Aug. 28. Doors open at 8:30 a.m., tours of the new facility and a continental breakfast in the old sanctuary from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. and one church service at 10 a.m.
PHONE: (407) 905-9508
Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at AQRhode@orangeobserver.com.