Published October 21, 2004
First Baptist Church of Woodstock traces its origins back to 1837 when the fledgling fellowship was known as Enon Church. For 150 years the church had a positive influence on Cherokee County, but never had a congregation of much more than 250. However, in the 1980s the county began to experience explosive growth and in the midst of that infusion of people the church called Johnny Hunt, a fiery preacher from North Carolina, to be their pastor.
For the past 18 years with Hunt at the helm the Woodstock church has experienced exponential growth. The membership now exceeds 14,000 and with the completion of a new worship center the church is poised to continue, if not increase, its growth pattern.
The recent addition signals the completion of the third phase of a massive building program that started in 1988 with the relocation of the church campus to an 82-acre tract of land at 777 Neese Road in Woodstock.
Features to assist ministry, worship
The latest addition is described as "the crown jewel" of church facilities in Georgia and encompasses 435,000 square feet of floor space. The new facility includes a cavernous worship center with 7,500 theater-type seats, five video cameras and two large video screens on either side of the 400-seat choir area.
The entrance of the worship center opens up to a three-story atrium with a skylight at the top. Two escalators and a set of stairs are at either side of the atrium; and above the sanctuary a 60-foot cross adorns the peak of the copula.
Other features include 52,000 square feet of preschool space, a music suite, an orchestral rehearsal suite, practice rooms and recording areas, adult classrooms, a world missions information area, large altar counseling area with 20 individual rooms, and a 2,050 square foot visitor's reception area.
The $54 million sanctuary with all of its amenities is being paid for through the church's tithes; and church leaders believe the $46.5 million debt will be retired in less than 10 years.
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