Extinguishing the tenacious flames, the firefighters battle their way into the rubble and debris that was — until just a few hours ago — the children’s daycare wing; upon entering, they find a towering cross — still erected — amongst the piles of flotsam, creating a beacon of hope in the midst of one of First Baptist Bossier’s most volatile days. Anecdotes like this create a reassuring visual that helped the church community keep their conviction and inspires them to create good out of catastrophe.
“In the midst of destruction, our God is in control, and he is going to lead us through [this hardship],” said Brad Jurkovich, First Baptist Bossier Pastor.
On Sunday, July 11, First Baptist Bossier unveiled their renovated facilities. Much like the analog of the phoenix rising from the ashes, First Baptist has shown that they can triumph over their own respective tragedies — like the December 2018 fire that destroyed the original chapel and daycare service facilities — through their ardent faith and passion.
The auspicious opening ceremony was matched by a proportional turn-out of supporters from the community coming together to celebrate the completion of the campus’s new foyer, chapel, kitchen, and events center.
The Bossier Press Tribune was extended the opportunity to meet with Senior Pastor Brad Jurkovich who provided a comprehensive retrospective of his response to the fateful December fire and the last two and a half years.
The senior pastor recalled the early morning that he heard about the overwhelming inferno that was engulfing parts of the church.
“First of all, you’re concerned for any life, right?” said the senior pastor. “That was my number one concern.”
When it came time to keep the faith, Pastor Brad and the First Baptist community did not waver against the tribulations they experienced over the last two and a half years. He accredits God with giving them the ability to stay positive and maintain a strong conviction during the prolonged recovery process.
“I knew that if we would put our trust in the Lord and rally together, that God could do something new and special even though it was a very tragic situation. . . Our faith perspective isn’t so much to always be positive, because there is real grief and disappointment, but you’re not without hope,” said the pastor.
He describes that — in retrospect –it was a very inspiring journey because it felt like a mutual experience amongst the entire First Baptist church family that allowed them to coalesce and bond through a fervently instilled sense of faith as a response to catastrophe. “Since day one, this community has really rallied around First Bossier. It’s really encouraging.”
In regard to the future for First Bossier Baptist Church, the pastor believes the future is bright and that the last two and a half years have helped him reevaluate the priorities of the church to focus more on their passion for God and their commitment to bettering their community.
Like Pastor Brad said, “It’s a new day.”