For the first time in nearly three years, Lynwood Baptist Church doesn't have to use a satellite location to hold its adult Sunday school classes.
Completion of a new education annex for the Cape Girardeau church means that parents and their infant children will be able to meet in the same building instead of down the road from one another. For the past few years, the church has been using classroom space in the Metro Business College for some of its young adult Bible study groups.
On Sunday the church will host an open house and dedication for its new building. The service will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the church.
Melissa Richards is thrilled about the convenience the annex offers. "Last week was the first time we've been in the same building," she said. Usually, the routine for Richards and her husband, Tom, was to drop off their daughter, Abby, who's nearly 1, at the nursery and then head to Metro Business College for their class with other young married couples.
The Richards carried a radio in case they needed to be contacted if Abby got fussy or ill. "If something was wrong we'd have to go back and calm her down. It was harder when she was younger because of all the feedings."
But now things will be different. Instead of driving back to the church, Melissa Richards can head down a flight of stairs to check on her daughter.
The annex adds 21,000 square feet of space, which is about half the size of the church, which was built in 1998.
An office suite was also included in the construction project and added enough space for all the secretaries and a work room.
Another important component of the building annex is preschool and youth-classroom space. The preschool suite will accommodate larger groups and be used by the Mother's Day Out program.
On the second floor, the youth will have their own space and won't have to wait anymore for Wednesday night dinners to be cleared away before beginning their service. Until now, the youth group had been using the fellowship hall for its meeting space since it outgrew its original classroom location.
Each week, the youth had to wait for church members to finish dinner, wipe off tables and store them away before setting up their music equipment and chairs for service.
"But now they know they've got a home," said Susie Hildebrand, a secretary.