Arkansas ‘Country Church’ Finds Home Inside the City

At the launch of Maple Grove Baptist Church’s Main Street Campus in Trumann Oct. 6, Shane Fore, pastor of the Main Street campus, baptizes Kevin, who has been to prison seven times and is in recovery for addiction. Kevin said he has never felt comfortable in a church until he came to Maple Grove’s Main Street Campus. Thirty-seven people attended the launch of the new church. Submitted photo

“We were out of the loop,” said Jim Duffel, pastor of Maple Grove Baptist Church in Trumann.

The church, located two-and-a-half miles outside the city limits, was looking for a way to minister to Trumann residents.

“For the past couple of years, we had two things on our hearts,” said Duffel. “Our youth were meeting downtown on Main Street on Wednesday nights, so one of our issues was that they needed a place to meet. So, we started looking, but in the midst of that we were praying and asking God how Maple Grove could impact Trumann.”

Last summer, a building that once served as the NEA Baptist Clinic was offered to them, but the 33,000-square-foot building was more than they could afford at that time.

“We really weren’t sure how we could invest funds and be good stewards of it,” said Duffel. “At first we thought it was time to move the church, but that wasn’t a deep thought. It was more of a knee-jerk reaction.”

Two months later, the church was gifted the old clinic building.

“We couldn’t afford it when it was $175,000, but we couldn’t refuse it when God said, ‘Here, I’ll give it to you,'” said Duffel.

The building was officially Maple Grove’s in late January and was dedicated on June 2.

The church began to transform the old clinic into an office space. A worship center and fellowship hall were also established.

The next question was how to furnish the space.

“We had a man in our church who had contact with a FedEx warehouse in Memphis,” said Duffel. “When FedEx has stuff that people don’t want or return or items have been damaged, they give it to nonprofits. The guy said they had a surplus of stuff.”

Soon, five truckloads of office furniture, chairs and tables were brought to the new building.

“Everything we use right now, they gave us,” said Duffel. “We have enough tables to go into classrooms when we get the rest of the building painted and fixed.”

Maple Grove came into contact with Shane Fore, a church planter with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

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Source: Baptist Press