BOUNTIFUL – The view many have of what church is supposed to be has changed over the decades and people are sometimes not finding what they’re looking for in traditional mainline denominations.
The First Baptist Church is finding its membership diminishing as young families join churches that offer programs First Baptist doesn’t
To stem that tide, the church board is asking for proposals in four different areas that would not only help the church’s membership increase, but perhaps help build community awareness of the church and bring in some funds.
“We’re trying to fill the building,” the Rev. Don Proctor bluntly said.
Back in the 1950s and 60s, at the height of the congregation’s membership, Sunday School attendance was about 200. Today, there is no Sunday School, and attendance at worship hovers at 40 or less.
“The young families are too busy,” Proctor said.
Among ideas the church board would like to see proposals for is providing space for a new church start, preferably for an ethnic miniority.
“We’re under-served in Bountiful in ministry to Hispanics,” Proctor said. He said he’s heard that 14 percent of south Davis residents are Hispanic, and many have joined Pentecostal or nondenominational churches.
Proctor believes such a church start would be good for the Hispanic community and for the south Davis area, with the congregation using the First Baptist Church facility either before or after the First Baptist congregation’s service.
But Proctor said he’d be equally happy if a Korean or Japanese congregation or another ethnic group used the facility.
Proctor, who served as pastor of Bountiful Community Church between the 1960s and the early 1990s, said that for two years, BCC allowed the Assembly of God congregation that became Abundant Life Assembly of God to use their facility.
Abundant Life is now a thriving congregation, and Proctor believes BCC’s role in that contributed to Abundant Life’s success. He hopes First Baptist can do the same for another new church
The first Baptist church board is also asking for a proposal for a licensed day care to use the church building.
That idea was explored a couple of years ago but was vetoed at that time, Proctor said.
He sees a day care as providing a service to the south Davis community, and possibly providing a source of revenue.
The third idea the church board is exploring is bringing on a Christian band, that will bring a new style of music, and with it a younger group of Christians who listen to rock music.
“We want to open up the possibilities of reaching out to a different age and different style,” Proctor said.
Proctor, who is in his mid-70s, would like to start slowing down and is thinking of retiring.
“I’d like to get them (the congregation) in a position where I could turn over the church to someone financially, physically and spiritually with an ongoing program that’s working,” he said.
That will require an influx of new families.
Finally, the church needs someone to update and maintain their web page, which hasn’t been updated in some time.
Anyone with proposals in any of the four areas is asked to submit a written proposal to the church board, 1915 S. Orchard Drive, Bountiful, 84010.
The congregation would like to have the programs in place by fall.