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‘A Place for People With a Purpose’

Centreville Baptist Church celebrates new worship center.

The praise band performs during Sunday’s contemporary worship service.

The praise band performs during Sunday’s contemporary worship service. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

— Centreville Baptist Church has a new worship center, bookstore, classrooms and area for gatherings and fellowship. But the Rev. Billy Ross knows it means much more than just a new addition to the facility.

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The entrance to Centreville Baptist Church’s new addition.

“This is a magnificent building, but it’s just a place of brick and mortar,” he said during Sunday’s dedication services. “What makes it special is that it’s a place for people with a purpose – to love God, learn His word and live out what is being taught.”

Ross said the church members may do these things by worshiping together, learning God’s will for them and serving the Lord by helping and caring for their fellow man.

The Sept. 9 services were part of a three-part celebration; that night, members participated in a Sing Out featuring their choir, praise team and orchestra combined with banners, flags and worship dancing. And the day before, Saturday, Sept. 9, they enjoyed an open house and tours of the new space, plus food and children’s games.

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CBC Pastor Billy Ross at the pulpit.

The building project cost $14.8 million, and Cindy Hall, director of ministry teamwork, said it’s been five years “from the start of discussions until now. We broke ground Aug. 4, 2010. We had pledges for $7 million and, so far, have brought in $6.2 million; the rest is financed.”

The architect was Helbing Hipp; contractor, Jack Bays Inc.; and project manager, Bob Clontz. The building addition is 50,000 square feet and includes nine classrooms in the basement for adult Bible study, plus a new space for choir rehearsal and worship ministry.

The old sanctuary, now used as a chapel, only seated 400 people; the new one seats 1,200. “We were using the old space three times on Sunday for worship services – and had an overflow room for one service – because it was too packed,” said Lane Sebring, student ministry pastor. “So to accommodate future growth, we needed to expand.”

The church was originally built in 1989 for its then 250 members, with space for adult Sunday School classrooms added in 1997. It now has about 1,500 active members and, said Sebring, “It’s been a steady growth throughout the years. One-third of our members live in Centreville; the other two-thirds come from Haymarket, Gainesville, Manassas, South Riding, Chantilly and Fairfax.”

Excited about the new addition, he said, “It’s been an awesome journey. I can’t wait to see what God’s going to do and how He’s going to use this space to bless the people of Centreville and the surrounding communities.”

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Lane Sebring, student ministry pastor, in the new connections area by the bookstore.

Sebring’s especially pleased about the “connections” area by the bookstore. It’s adorned with large photos of church members on mission trips and, he said, “There’s space to have a cup of coffee, hang out and chat with friends and catch up on life. We have a courtyard, but we didn’t have a permanent, café/coffee shop-type space.”

The whole, right-hand side of the building is new, including the huge, front entry hall/welcome area. And just outside the sanctuary is a small room for nursing mothers who may still view and hear Sunday services there on a TV.

The sanctuary, itself, has a huge stage, plus tiered seating in back for better viewing and to house more people. The 9:15 a.m. celebration service is a mix of traditional and contemporary music with a choir, orchestra and band. The 11 a.m. contemporary service has just the band and praise team, but the service is the same.

“It’s been a long and difficult journey, but God has been faithful and has seen us through many obstacles,” Ross told his flock on Sunday. “We dedicate ourselves and this place for His glory.”

Praying with the past and present church elders, he said, “Our hearts are filled with gratitude to all the men and women who built Centreville Baptist Church. Father, we want it to be a beacon for Your honor and to the people in the communities around us. In a world that seems to be coming apart, may they find here the glue to help keep it together and may they find peace.”

Noting that the church’s members come from five different counties and 10 ZIP codes, Ross said, “This building’s stones, bricks and blocks were all individual pieces knitted together with mortar. And we are individual people who’ve come together to become a spiritual house.”

“We’re of all colors, cultures and ethnicities; and even though we’re individuals, we are one,” he continued. “We’re not just dedicating a building, we’re dedicating a diverse people to love God and be instructed by Him to leave here and live for Him.”