First Bossier starts a new chapter with groundbreaking

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First Bossier Pastor Brad Jurkovich leads the congregation in prayer Sunday, Sept. 29 prior to the groundbreaking of a new facility to replace what was lost in a fire in 2018. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

After experiencing the largest fire in Bossier City history, First Bossier Church is rising from the ashes and moving forward towards rebuilding. 

On Sunday afternoon, the First Bossier Church congregation and the community gathered in front of First Bossier’s main entrance to witness an exciting new chapter with a groundbreaking ceremony. 

“We’re here because Jesus Christ is alive. Hope, hard work, prayer and faith opened the doors to a new chapter with today’s groundbreaking,” said First Bossier Pastor Brad Jurkovich.

Congressman Mike Johnson presents Pastor Brad Jurkovich and First Baptist Church with a certificate of Congressional recognition at a groundbreaking ceremony Sept. 29. (Stacey Tinsley/Press-Tribune)

“The Bossier City community has rallied around First Bossier. They want us to move forward together. They see this church rising from the ashes, literally, it’s going to be exciting,” added Jurkovich.

Congressman Mike Johnson was one of many government officials who were in attendance at Sunday’s groundbreaking. Johnson presented Jurkovich and First Baptist Church with a certificate of Congressional recognition.

”This is in celebration of the ground breaking of the rebuild,” said Johnson.

As a long time member of First Bossier, Christy Wilson says she is excited to see what is to come with the new building and is grateful First Bossier is moving forward.

“I remember when we did the ground breaking for the new worship building that we are still in. I, as a child, knew every square inch of the building that burnt down,” Wilson said.  “We worship God here, this is our church family. It’s exciting to see what’s to come. It is amazing to see this new beginning start as we move forward.” 

Kaitlyn Knighton, a member of First Bossier for a little over year, says although the fire was devastating, she is excited to see what is to come.

First Bossier leaders line up for the ceremonial turning of the dirt Sunday, Sept. 29. (Courtesy photo)

“Even though it was a devastating event, this just shows how strong the church is, coming back from the ashes and showing how faithful we are,” she said.

In the early morning hours of Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, a fire caused by an uninterruptible power supply at an office near Faith Chapel heavily damaged multiple buildings, including a section of the church known as the old sanctuary.

First Bossier lost about 100,000 square feet due to the fire. Approximately 71,000 square feet will be rebuilt at a cost of roughly $20 million. 

Plans include a new chapel that will incorporate some of the more traditional features of the original building, a new foyer, students space, small group space, a hallway connecting all the spaces, and some general upgrades around the campus. 

Construction is expected to take less than two years to complete.