by Sharlene Irete
R-C People Editor
The First Baptist Church has been meeting Sundays at Minden Elementary School since construction began on their new building, but the congregation is ready to move into a place of their own.
The grand opening of the new First Baptist Church of Minden-Gardnerville is set for 10:30 a.m. July 27 at 1311 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville.
"We're a very friendly church. We want people to feel comfortable and welcome " to feel at home. You're a guest until you become part of the family," said Thane Barnes, executive director of Nevada Baptist Convention and interim pastor of First Baptist.
"Sometimes people come to a church at a friend's invitation, but continue to attend because their needs are being met " because they've formed a meaningful relationship."
The new 9,000 square-foot church building includes a main lobby large enough to be enlisted as a multipurpose fellowship area, a 175-seat auditorium, offices, conference rooms, a nursery and classrooms.
There are plans to expand ministries for children, middle and high school students and for singles. Other ideas include putting emphasis on community members by featuring teacher, firefighter or sheriff appreciation days.
"People are looking for a sense of community," said Barnes. "Everyone wants to belong " somewhere safe, with roots, but without a heavy dose of judgment. This group wants to serve the community."
The new location of First Baptist Church of Minden-Gardnerville is 1311 Centerville Lane in Gardnerville.