Church to construct a new church where original church stood
Cypress Baptist Church has broken ground on a new facility that will sit exactly where its original church building once stood.
Demolition began at the hands of the church members who helped construct the church in 1979. The new 53,600 square foot building will house a state-of-the-art preschool wing, fellowship hall, and large gathering areas.
The building will one day include a 2,200 seat sanctuary, but Senior Pastor John Fream said that will be constructed several years from now.
“It was an emotional, but exciting day,” Fream said of the Jan. 25 groundbreaking. “I’ve told our church that we are tearing down that building not because it didn’t work, but because it did work. It did exactly what the people who built it envisioned it to do. We’re growing as a church because of the strong foundation they laid. It is our desire to carry that on to the next generations.”
The current layout of the church has buildings spread out over the campus. The completed building will serve as an enclosed connecting point at the center of the campus.
A long-range plan was developed five years ago and put into action with phase one construction of a new (and larger) parking lot on the south side of the campus. The second phase will be completed in two parts, with the new sanctuary being built in the second half. The church will continue meeting in its current sanctuary until the project is completed.
A completion date for the first half of phase two construction is said to be 12 to 14 months away. The second half of phase two will also include adding a second floor to the pre-school wing.
Cypress Baptist Church is often the host site of school banquets and community festivals in the fall and spring. Fream said the church has kept the community in mind with its building plans.
“We tend to think about how it will reach and impact our community while serving our own needs as a church,” Fream said. “We’re a growing church and we’ve more than doubled our weekly attendance over the last few years.”
A larger venue, he said, will allow the church to serve the community even more than before.
Cypress Baptist Church was founded in September 1977. The group met in private homes before securing Mary Queen of Heaven Catholic Church as an initial meeting place. The first Sunday School classes were started with just 70 members enrolled and the number of people in worship had grown to 113 people.
The state formally declared them a church on November 30, 1977. Land was purchased on January 29, 1978 for the congregation to begin building on its permanent home. The church petitioned for membership with the Southern Baptist Convention on August 9, 1978 with a membership of 142 people.
On July 1, 1979, the membership celebrated the completion of a new building with the first worship service in its own sanctuary. The church continued its growth with the addition of a Preschool/Daycare Building in 1981. Then came the Family Life Center in 1986, followed by the Education Building 1993 and a new Worship Center 1999. The buildings were constructed to meet the needs of the rapidly growing church membership, which had grown to over 1,800 people.
Fream, who became Cypress’ senior pastor in 2008, said the church continues to thrive in its mission to share God’s word to the people of Bossier and a world-wide audience.
“These are the nicest folks you could be around,” Fream said of his congregation. “They are incredibly kind, they love the Lord and are incredibly loving and giving. [We’re] just a very unified church with wanting to reach our community with the gospel.”