"Like Abraham of old, we are going to a place where we will never see all that will happen there under God's leadership," said Dr. Allan Lockerman
is aware that some who come to church cannot find parking and leave.
The Stuart Road building totals 85,000 square feet of space, located on a campus of 38 acres compared to 125,000 square feet of space in multiple buildings on the six acres downtown.
This is only the first phase of building at the site.
The second phase "will depend in large measure on what happens during the first six months," Dr. Lockerman
A big reason for the church's demand for space, Dr. Lockerman
said, is that "Southern Baptists believe in strong Christian education programs - for adults as well as for children."
Dr. Lockerman was pastor of First Baptist from 1992 to 2000 when he left to pursue other ministries.
returned in 2004 to become co-pastor, along with Jim Gibson.
believes that relocation of the church facilities was a prime reason God brought him back to Cleveland.
There are perhaps 2,500 Baptist churches across Tennessee, he
said, with hundreds of red-brick church buildings in towns throughout the state, many of them experiencing declining membership.