BOSSIER CITY, La. (BP) — Days after fire destroyed about 75 percent of its campus, First Baptist Church of Bossier City praised God amid anticipation for “great days ahead.”
“I get exciting about dreaming, and building and developing ministry to reach even more people for Jesus,” pastor Brad Jurkovich told his congregation in Dec. 16 worship in its main sanctuary, spared in the Dec. 10 fire that raged about five hours.
“We have a generational moment as a church,” Jurkovich said. “And how we’ve responded this first seven days, [how] we respond the next seven months, will really set a tone for the future of this ministry, with our prayer, our faith, our hope, unity, serving and staying together.”
No one was injured in the fire that destroyed older portions of the campus, including the church’s Faith Chapel and facilities that housed weekday, children’s and teen’s ministries.
Jurkovich proclaimed his enthusiasm Dec. 14 on Facebook, two days after the church held midweek services at the Bossier City Civic Center.
“We’re moving forward,” Jurkovich said on video. “Our God is alive, He is true, and the spirit of First Bossier is strong because our foundation is in the Lord, Jesus Christ!
“We look forward to great days ahead, by God’s grace, as we reach this world for Jesus Christ,” he said. “While a lot of buildings were destroyed, no lives were lost. God’s grace is good. We can rebuild.”
In congregational prayers Sunday, Jurkovich praised and thanked God for sparing lives and being in control, addressing Him as the congregation’s defender, protector and provider.
“Thank You for Your Spirit moving in our midst as a church body,” he said, “that we might walk in unity and peace, and not living with some alarmist mentality.”
The church will rebuild facilities for ministries displaced by the fire, Jurkovich assured the congregation, and is working with city government to determine the best interim options for its Connect Kids ministry and other programs.
“For the next few weeks, we’re going to celebrate Jesus, celebrate Christmas, work together, serve together,” Jurkovich said. “And then on January 6, we should have a lot more clarity” on teen ministries and First Bossier Kids on Sundays and Wednesday.
“My prayer is that we’ll bring absolute glory to God in everything we say and do,” he told the congregation.
Jurkovich preached the third sermon in a series, “The Best Christmas,” focusing on Luke 2:21-24.
Emergency personnel and governmental leaders attended the service, with state representatives and Congressional members presenting certificates of appreciation for the church’s leadership and community service.
Louisiana Representatives Mark Abraham and Raymond Crews, Congressmen Ralph Abraham and Mike Johnson, Bossier City Mayor Lorenz “Lo” Walker, Bossier City Fire Department Chief Brad Zagone and other fire personnel were among guests.
Thirty fire units from Bossier City and Shreveport, and 65 fire support personnel responded to the blaze, Jurkovich said, that was reported around 5:30 a.m. The church is currently working with its insurance and considering debris removal and architectural issues.
Jurkovich continues to thank the public for prayers and support that he described as widespread. For more information on how to help, go to firstbossier.com/give.
The church at 2810 E. Texas St. has 5,716 resident members and averages 1,996 in weekly worship, according to Southern Baptist Convention church profile data.