Prince Albert Baptist Church opens its doors with songs of praise

By Jill Sperling
December 12, 2015 - 12:14pm

After closing its doors for nearly two years, the former St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church was filled with the sounds of worship Friday evening.

The building, which is now the Prince Albert Baptist Church, was finally safe to host a congregation after enduring extensive structural repairs.

For those in attendance, the grand re-opening of the historic downtown church building was an answer to prayer.

Murray Fenwick, a pastor who is involved with a faith-based addictions reformer program, said he felt the building was a blessing.

“Standing in the middle of a miracle,” said Fenwick. “Something we’ve prayed for, and God has blessed what He has done here.

“I look at all the work that happened here, no serious injuries and stuff like that, so it’s a real blessing. Even to see the people turning out tonight, this is a blessing.”

The renovations were completed with the help of people within the community, but some, like Duncan Whyte, came from further away to work on the church.

Whyte is a carpenter from Sherwood Park, Alberta. He came to Prince Albert last month to lend a hand.

“I’ll tell you the men worked hard,” said Whyte. “They sacrificed their time and it was a very good spirit among all the workers, and they did a beautiful job.”

He said the building, which is nearly 100 years old, is one of the nicest buildings around.

Cassia Hollingsworth was impressed with how well the historical building has been preserved.

“I was just impressed with how it looks,” said Hollingsworth, “It still looks original, yet they’ve done so much to it.”

Hollingsworth has family members who worked on the church project. She was happy to see the building become a place of worship once again.

“It feels really good that it wasn’t just left to be destroyed,” said Hollingsworth, “that it was used again for something good, to glorify God, and to help the community out.”

The evening celebration included a welcome message from Prince Albert Mayor Greg Dionne. 

He thanked everyone who worked on the project, saying his biggest fear was to see another vacant lot downtown.

Dionne also thanked the congregation for their prayers.

“I know quite a few pray for me personally and pray for our city and our council,” said Dionne. “We want to thank you for that, because we have some tough decisions to make.”

With restorations complete, the historic building is sure to be a place where many more prayers are said for years to come.

 

-with files from Sarah Rolles

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On Twitter: @jnsperling

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