PONCHATOULA— For more than eight years, the members of First True Love World Outreach Ministries believed they were building their sanctuary.
Pastor Carl Coleman said, “It’s been a long, but a steady journey since construction began in June of 2005, and now the church congregation is enjoying the fruits of their hard labor.”
In 2005, Coleman, began seeking financing for the construction, but was set back when a banker told him they will be charged a $20,000 fee to begin their loan. That when we decided we would build it in phases and pay for it as we went, he said. We built the church without incurring any debt.”
First, builders poured the slab then started with beams for the building. Over time, a roof and walls were added and then the interior was filled with 2,200 sheets of sheetrock.
“We brought the congregation on tours of the church five or six times during construction,” Coleman said. “It showed people what we were doing
and kept them motivated. We had our first service in the new church Easter Sunday.”
Now finished, the 30,000 square-foot church has a large sanctuary, several Sunday School classrooms, office space, seven bath room and many other features.
On May 28, the church hosted three nights of special services.
Fred Luter Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist church in New Orleans, was the guest speaker.
Guest speakers were Pastor Samuel Brown of Mt. Vernon and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church of Hammond, while Bishop Raymond Johnson of Living Faith Center of Baton Rouge.
While talking about the new church Coleman was proud, with a smile on his face, but humble in his soft-spoken mannerisms and giving all the credit to God. He attributed the growth of the congregation and building of the new church to God and good
services, which led to the church spreading by word of mouth.
Co1eman said the church’s capacity, as listed by the State Fire Marshal, is 1,184. The church has an average attendance of between 500 and 600 during Sunday services, but Coleman is planning for future growth.
The old church was not large enough to hold that many people in one service, so there were two Sunday services.
“The new church has more than enough room for the current congregation and room to grow,” he said. Sunday service at First Tine Love World Outreach Ministries begins with 8:30am Sunday School.. The church is located at 41239 South Range Road in Ponchatoula.
By Eddie Ponds
The Drum Publisher