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ST. PAUL’S RETIRES DEBT AND PREPARES
FOR NEXT PHASE
Longest Reigning Area Pastor Celebrates Historic Occasion With The Sacramento Community And
Congregation 5,000 Strong
For many people struggling through these hard economic times, the church has been a place to find solace and comfort and, for some, a temporary home for food and shelter. But when it comes to paying the bills, and the mortgage, some churches find themselves as hard-pressed as their congregants. A beacon of strength in the heart of Oak Park, St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church defies the odds. Pastor Dr. Ephraim Williams and community business and governmental leaders will retire the mortgage for its $7 million Family Life Center in a Mortgage Burning Community Celebration, Sunday, June 10, 2012, 3:30 p.m., 3996 14th Avenue. The event is free and open to the public.
Pastor Dr. Williams leads St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, one of the largest congregations in the region. During his over 41-year tenure, the church has grown from approximately 100 to over 5,000 members, with followers traveling from as far as Redding and the San Francisco area. Pastor Williams dedication to public service and community involvement led to the opening of the Dr. Ephraim Williams Family Life Center. The non-profit facility hosts numerous beneficial events and services for the surrounding community.
In three short years, the Family Life Center grew to a fully functioning facility with dramatic impact benefiting the entire community. The center hosts a summertime Algebra Academy for youth, basketball camps, youth and men’s basketball leagues, nutrition training programs for youth, an annual Teen and Youth Education Summit, computer training workshops, after school tutoring, and forums on foster family issues and child protective services’ response to those needs. Additionally, the complex offers a collegiate-size multi-purpose gymnasium for basketball and volleyball, aerobic/cardio exercise room, free weight room, computer training and work lab, classrooms for educational outreach, and Sunday school.
The Family Life Center has been awarded community grants and built partnerships that have expanded the facility into a lifestyle program and education center. A partnership with the City of Sacramento has resulted in the center providing safe, temporary shelter and food for those without homes, an on site/seasonal farmer’s market and a joint program with the Sheriff’s Athletic League—offering a safe gang-free place for youth to mingle with law enforcement officers in a casual, congenial atmosphere.
During Pastor Dr. Williams’ tenure at St. Paul’s, he has retired three mortgages and led the campaigns to raise millions of dollars in support of the initial fundraising efforts for each mortgaged facility. Now, he retires the mortgage for the $7 million, 43,000 square foot Family Life Center—the star of the upcoming Mortgage Burning Community Celebration of June 10th.
“I like to think of our church and Family Life Center facilities as the foundation for building people—their educational and spiritual growth that gives them a purpose in life,” states Pastor Dr. Williams. “Without the enthusiastic support of our congregation and the community, our achievements would not be as significant.”
The June 10th Celebration includes speeches from notable community and governmental business leaders, Pastor Dr. Williams and Mayor Kevin Johnson, musical performances including the 100 voice men’s choir, as well as refreshments and tours of the Family Life Center following the celebration. Additional event information: (916) 737-7070 or www.stpaulsac.org.