Breaking Ground on Easter Sunday

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This is where First Baptist Church of Bryan stands. Like every Sunday, there were three services, music filling the hall. But this was Easter Sunday, a holiday celebrating a rebirth.

"Since 1866, we've been right in the heart of the people of this wonderful community," said Tim Owens, the church's pastor.

"It's been a life-saver for me," according to Georgia Freiberger, who's attended First Baptist since 1972. "It is my life since I lost my husband. Everything I do has something to do with the church."

The church originally stood where the Adult Rehabilitation Center is now. Back in 1866, it was a 10-pin alley and saloon when a group of people got together, put some planks of wood a few beer kegs, called them alter and pews, and decided to worship.

"First Baptist Church of Bryan has been at the center of this community for many, many years," said Bill Wiman, the minister of education at First Baptist. "Once, that was downtown Bryan, and now, that is Briarcrest and the bypass."

So the church will move back to the center, as they relocate to Cambridge Street, just behind Lowe's and Wal-Mart off of Briarcrest. The congregation broke ground on Easter Sunday in what could be considered another rebirth of sorts.

"This is a culmination of about five years of very hard work," said Owens. "Our church has been praying about this. They've been working hard. They've been pledging their money."

In late 2006, from that plot of land will rise an even bigger church, built for a growing congregation from a growing congregation.

"Our people are people of great faith and great confidence," Owens said. "With really a strong concensus of our people, they expressed the fact that this was the time for us to take this step."

So they dug in their shovels in a new central location, with a need for more space, and with a want to worship.