A new building for an atrium and classroom space at New Hope First Baptist Church in Cedar Park is planned to open for public tours March 19.
Residents can park in the newly expanded parking lot and tour the facility from 1-3 p.m., said the church’s pastor, the Rev. Keith Pate. The expansion allows the church to meet the needs of a growing congregation, including many young families with children, he said.
“There are young families moving to this area,” Pate said.
The new classroom wing includes about 16,000 square feet, which will be used for preschool and young adult classes. A 5,000-square-foot atrium bridges the expansion to the existing church and provides added space for a common area, Pate said.
New Hope began construction in January 2015 and spent $6.1 million on the project.
Pate said supporters pledged donations for more than three years to fund the project. In one year donations have already reached about 6 percent of the required amount, Pate said.
“We’re going to end up borrowing less than we anticipated,” he said.
Construction crews moved one house and demolished four houses on Juniper Trail to make room for the expanded parking lot of 133 spaces. Pate said New Hope owned the homes and had been using some of them for additional classroom space.
Each Sunday the church hosts two services with a total average attendance of 800, he said. New Hope receives more than twice that attendance for Easter services. Pate said he expects similar attendance for the church’s three planned Easter services.
Identical services will be held March 25 at 7 p.m. as well as March 27 at 9 and 11 a.m.
“For us, the building is not about a shiny new toy—it’s about reaching people with the hope of Christ,” Pate said. “With so many people moving into our community, we feel like this is a calling that we’ve got to [follow]to have tools to reach people.”
New Hope was founded in 1868 or earlier, making it one of Cedar Park’s oldest churches.
New Hope Baptist Church
200 West New Hope Drive, Cedar Park