First Baptist Church Dallas Lights Fountain of New $130 Million Campus Set to Open Easter Sunday
Three-Quarter Acre Fountain Plaza Contributes to Greening and Grandeur of Downtown Revitalization
DALLAS, March 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — First Baptist Church of Dallas, which will open its new state-of-the-art $130 million campus, the largest Protestant church building campaign in modern history, on Easter Sunday, began the first of its month-long grand opening celebrations last night with the lighting and dedication of the high-impact cross-tower fountain.
“We gather tonight with a clear purpose, not to celebrate a new building but to celebrate new life in Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Church. “Next week we change our place of worship, but some things never change – God, our love for Him and the Gospel. The fellowship of our congregation remains unbroken from this place to the next, bonding us together.”
At the close of the final evening worship service in the historic 122-year-old sanctuary, the lights were turned off and First Baptist congregation members each lit a candle in the darkness. They then followed Jeffress in a silent processional out of the original facility to the Fountain Plaza, symbolizing the church’s commitment to carry the light of the Gospel message with them from their former meeting place to the new campus and into the world.
“More than anything we want our church to represent the amazing grace God offers,” Jeffress said after leading the crowd in an a cappella version of “Amazing Grace.” “We want to be the love of God, and we want for people who come on our campus to know we are a church.”
Following a 10-second countdown by the pastor, the cross-tower structure and new campus buildings were dramatically lit as fountains danced to the classic hymn of the faith, “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name,” one of several custom orchestral scores of anthems and spiritual songs created to accompany the programmed flow of the cascading water and jets.
The fountain, which is centrally located on the three-quarter acre plaza and community space, serves as the grand entrance of the new campus, featuring a stainless steel cross atop a pedestal rising 68-feet-high. Surrounding the tower is a shallow water pool containing a heated baptistery as well as eight water canons and 21 undulating titan water jets. Water spilling over the tower wall at the base of the cross emulates white-water movement before creating waves in the pool.
The water calms prior to floating over the edge inscribed with a Scripture text from John 4:14, stating, “Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
First Baptist will hold its first service in the new 3,000-seat Worship Center of the state-of-the-art, 500,000-square-foot campus March 31. Physically changing the landscape of the Dallas skyline, the new campus is united in function and design as well as open, accessible and easily identifiable as an iconic church in the heart of the city.
First Baptist is committed to boldly sharing the Gospel. The church has been located at its current location since 1868, and has experienced the ebbs and flows of the downtown economy, consistently remaining committed to God and the people of Dallas. For more information, visit http://www.firstdallas.org/.
Editor’s Note: Additional media information is available at http://www.firstdallas.org/pressroom.