First Baptist Church of Temple Opens New Building - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

First Baptist Church of Temple Opens New Building

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At 10 million, this church will have a Sunday service Exactly 4 years to the day after an arsonist burnt it down. Jordan Bontke/KCEN At 10 million, this church will have a Sunday service Exactly 4 years to the day after an arsonist burnt it down. Jordan Bontke/KCEN

(KCEN) -- It's a story of faith and overcoming. First Baptist Church in Temple was burned down by an arsonist four years ago.

Today, on the anniversary of that fire, the church opened the doors of its brand new building.

Jerry and Madiene Gibson still remember that terrible day.

"I could stand there and think, we were baptized in that church, we were married in that church," Madiene said.

They watched in shock as the church they loved for so many years burned down.

"I mean, all of the big things about our family was wrapped up in those flames," Madiene said.

Today marked a new beginning in a beautiful building at 8015 West Adams Avenue. 

The 10.9 million dollar facility features everything from an indoor playground to a cafe.

Senior Pastor Ronny Marriott says most importantly, it's a place to move forward.

"God allows us to go through difficult times to kind of shape us and give us some direction," Marriott said. "Obviously this church has been through some really tough times. But today is one of those days that it all turns around."

They'll never forget, as pieces of the past will stay with them.

Bricks were saved from the old building and members of the church are engraving them, so they can be used at the new location.

Long-time church member Jon Burrows says the special thing about First Baptist Church wasn't in that building.

"The church is the people, the building is not the church," Burrows said.

Today they look at how far they've come and how much closer they've gotten.

"The challenges and adversity and everything have made our church stronger," Jerry Gibson said.

The church has used other buildings in two different locations since the fire, but they've still managed to grow. They plan to add a third Sunday service sometime in the near future.

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