Arnhart Baptist triples in size

Wednesday, December 31, 2014
John Duncan, pastor of Arnhart Baptist Church, sits on a rock fireplace in the new gathering area. The church recently expanded by 16,440 square feet. Jason Johnston/reporter@cassville-democrat.com

Church expands to 23,190 square feet to support growth

PURDY -- Arnhart Baptist Church had a formal dedication ceremony Sunday to celebrate a new, 16,440-square-foot expansion project.

The church, which is about 3 miles southeast of Purdy, started planning the new addition a couple of years ago, said Pastor John Duncan. The new space will support growth. Construction began in February.

"People have been very sacrificial in their giving to provide for the next generation," Duncan said.

The original portion of the church is 6,750 square feet.

It was originally built in 1963, along with an addition and a renovation in 1977, Duncan said. Arnhart Baptist is about 137 years old. It has been at the same location for most of that time.

The older part was remodeled into Sunday school space and a nursery. The children's ministries department now utilizes the old sanctuary.

On Nov. 23, the church congregation had its last service in the former sanctuary.

"Then, we sang our way down to the new auditorium, [which seats about 225]," Duncan said. "It was a nice procession."

The new addition has a 3,375-square-foot gathering area with a rock fireplace, a state-of-the-art kitchen, a 4,649-square-foot activity center, an upstairs youth space, offices, handicap-accessible restrooms, a canopied drive through and a brick exterior to match the older wing.

Joplin-based Brennfoerder Architectural Services served as the architect, and Pierce City-based CTC Construction Group was the contractor.

Kim Roller, who coordinated a five-person church committee that did the new addition's decor, said she has been anxious for the addition to be completed.

"It's been such a blessing," said Roller, who also coordinates the children's ministries on Wednesday evenings. "We just have needed this for a long time. [The church] was growing, and we were really running out of room."

Duncan and his wife, Jennifer, have been at Arnhart since 2010. They were missionaries in Thailand from 2007 to 2010. He was the pastor at Cassville First Baptist Church from 1985 to 2007.

Duncan grew up in the Mountain View area. He was a funeral director at Duncan Funeral Home (which was started by his grandfather, John Duncan Sr.) for several years before he went to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas.

Arnhart Baptist has Sunday school at 10 a.m. Sunday worship services are at 10:45 a.m. and 6 p.m. The church also has an adult Bible study and children's activities at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. For more information, contact Arnhart Baptist at 417-342-8176.

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