You could hear them coming over the hill on Highway 49, singing hymns of praise. As they rounded the corner to enter the Hillside Baptist Church, you could tell there was definitely something to sing about.
"This is our dedication service and we've been in the process of getting here for the last nine and a half months," said the Reverend Dr. Travis Anderson.
Other ministers and friends joined Dr. Anderson to celebrate, and at first, it appeared that a service was being held right in the pastor's office.
"We have to get out of our comfort zone and the only way we can walk on water is to get out of the boat and so I'm willing to get out of the boat and be with my brother and welcome him and bless him and encourage him in what God's called him to do. It's going to be amazing what we can get done on this Gulf Coast if we don't care who gets the credit," said Pastor Blair of the Covenant of Peace Church, surrounded by 12 additional ministers who had gathered in the pastor's study.
But the beat of drums said the real celebration was in the sanctuary. Community leaders as well as members of area churches came together in song, in scripture, and in kindred spirit.
"I think there is so many things the church can do to help the community.We want to really get in the position to do that. And on 10 and a half acres on Highway 49, it gives us that opportunity to really be effective," said Anderson.
In March, the Hillside Baptist Church will begin building a senior citizens home on Teagarden Road. In the future, it plans to expand the sanctuary, build a nursery, and even build a restaurant to satisfy the soul as well as the stomach.