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Why CBC’s Members Love Their Church

A view of part of the new sanctuary.

A view of part of the new sanctuary. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

— During the Saturday, Sept. 8, open house at Centreville Baptist Church, members toured the new addition and talked about why their church is special to them.

“It’s home for us, and I love the warmth and the people,” said Wendy Nostheide. “They’re true to the Bible and stand on God’s word.” She now lives in Gainesville, but grew up in Centreville’s Gate Post Estates community and has been a member for almost 30 years.

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People enjoy the connections fellowship area in the church.

Regarding the new addition, she said, “I think it’s fabulous – there’s so much more space. We’ve been so squished for so long, and now we’ll have space to spread out and to welcome more people to come here. It’s such a great opportunity to share God’s love; that’s what I’m really excited about.”

Cindy Verrill of Centreville’s Clifton Townes community, has attended for 11 years and said her church embraces people of all backgrounds. “There’s a sense of community,” she said. “People from all walks of life come here for fellowship together. And it’s a Bible-teaching church, so the message is grounded in Biblical fact.”

Calling herself “in awe” of the new facility, Verrill said, “I’m part of the worship ministry – I’m in the choir and on the praise team – so the new stage lets us put on large productions with messages that may encourage people to come back and see what this church is about.”

A three-year member, Centre Ridge’s Dustin Wakefield said he loves both the church fellowship and preaching. “Pastor Billy [Ross] is a phenomenal communicator, very grounded in Scripture,” said Wakefield. “He’s got a great vision for evangelism and outreach and the church’s role in them.”

Wakefield also likes CBC’s strong focus on missions, noting that it’s sent members all over the world. And he called the new addition “a blessing” and was happy to see it filled with people. Added Wakefield: “I’m a structural engineer, and my company, Ehlert/Bryan, designed the building’s structure – so I can personally vouch for everyone’s safety.”

“I’m also excited that there’s space for all the classrooms and meetings now,” he said. “My group, Fusion, for people in their 20s and 30s, has been meeting in a kitchen for a couple years. And the fellowship foyer is where people can talk and share what God’s doing in their lives.”

Tony Bracewell of Haymarket has attended CBC for 21 years and said it’s “like building a family of Christians who support each other and are like-minded about sharing their faith with others. And it’s fun to watch people grow; I’m one of the elders and I teach Sunday school, and now there’s more room to grow those classes.”

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Friends chat in the entry hall during Saturday’s open house.

That’s important, said Wakefield, because “one of the primary focuses is to take the truth found in Scripture and apply it to our lives; we make it practical. We’re to live like Jesus would have us live and impact the community around us.” Added Bracewell: “We make it simple – learn, love, live.”

A five-year member, Pam Fruit of Centreville’s Country Club Manor community said CBC’s outreach to local residents “to help neighbors and meet their needs” is what attracted her. For example, she said, “We’re linking arms and reaching out to London Towne Elementary to help in any way we can.”

CBC helped with the school’s fun fair last year and donated 140 backpacks this year. It’s also participating in London Towne’s Good News after-school club, a nondenominational Bible study for children.

Calling the church additions “fresh and new,” Fruit’s excited about the sanctuary because “now we’ll have room to host seminars and concerts here, and the acoustics are perfect.” She also loves CBC because “the people are friendly and open. We have a lot of nationalities blended together, and that’s healthy. We’re international and multi-racial – like a rainbow and like heaven.”