For over 65 years Temple Baptist Church has had a rich ministry presence within their community in Lodi, California. What initiated a new desire to grow came when church leaders had a vision ordained by God to buy 28 acres of land for future development and expansion of ministry. Today, through their commitment to providing Christian education, they continue on the journey of building God’s Kingdom as it was envisioned many years ago.
Knowing they had aging facilities and a potential new housing development just behind the church, they felt God directing them to prepare for a bountiful harvest. They heard God asking them to expand their current facilities to meet the needs of the children and youth in the Lodi community. Furthermore, they felt God calling them to reach the NEXT generation of young families and help them in the Christian education of their children.
From the very beginning Temple Baptist Church approached this vision from a spiritual standpoint, and has seen a renewed emphasis on individual and corporate prayer. However, during the economic downturn, they felt God calling them to place the project on hold for one year. A short time later, after much prayer and a step of faith, the Elder Board felt God asking them to move forward with the project. This is just one example of how God has provided the needed guidance as they sought His direction and timing in this project. In order to show their commitment to God and His work, they chose to raise $2 million for this project, and by January 1st, 2014, they had raised 80% of that goal. They have seen many families step up and contribute over and above their regular giving to meet this goal.
With God’s plan firmly rooted, the church leadership developed conceptual drawings for a building that included space for a future Christian school. As if on cue, a Christian elementary school, Lodi Christian School, heard about their project and inquired about a partnership. With Jim Elliot Christian High School already on campus, it seemed as if God was leading them to expand their horizons and include another school in their overall ministry. They felt only God could create this new partnership of three separate ministries joining together as one unified ministry to provide Christian education for preschool children through Grade 12 students on one campus.
This new building, located next door to their worship center, will house their nursery through Grade 6 children and accommodate their Sunday school, Children’s Church and AWANA ministries. The building will include up-to-date security for children — such as a web-based check-in system, security cameras and restricted access points for non-parents.
During the week, they look forward to their partnership with Lodi Christian School where they can reach out to the parents of these families and provide them opportunities to hear the Gospel and draw the entire family into the ministry of the church.
When considering their options to finance a portion of this project, Temple Baptist Church shared that they “intentionally chose CeIF as our financing partner because we know our interest payments are supporting the work of ministry throughout our denomination. Furthermore, we believe investors are making an intentional decision to invest in CeIF to see God’s Kingdom expand and grow. We are grateful for investors who have joined us in our vision by trusting CeIF with their dollars. CeIF has been a great encouragement to Temple Baptist Church by their believing in our vision, seeing the potential of ministry opportunities before us and loaning us the funds to fulfill our vision.”