FOUR POINTS — Austin Baptist Church will soon call Four Points its permanent home.
The church purchased 35.6 acres off of FM 2222, McNeil Drive and Ribelin Ranch Road on Jan. 18.
Trees are being cleared at the site located across from Alexan Ribelin Ranch apartments, Four Points Middle School and Vandegrift High School.
Parking lots will go in next. Construction on the main building is expected in August.
“We plan to be moving in in fall 2012,” said Gary Dyer, senior pastor Austin Baptist Church.
“We are very much anticipating our move. We are in leased facilities right now,” he said.
Austin Baptist is 3.5 years old and meets near U.S. Highway 183 and Burnet Road. Their lease expires in 22 months and by then they expect to call Four Points home.
Austin Baptist has been looking for a permanent home for a while. Its long-range planning committee examined about a dozen properties.
“We even made an offer on another piece of property 11 months prior but all of the doors shut on that one,” Dyer said.
A member of Austin Baptist suggested they look at the Four Points property. The property had gone into foreclosure.
“We examined the possibilities and started the purchase process in late summer of last year,” he said.
The church was able to negotiate a deal in November of last year and finalized the sale from Redus Texas Land LLC and Redus Properties Inc. in mid January.
Its first priority is to develop a main campus on the pyramid-shaped property off of FM 2222 and McNeil.
Construction will begin around August first on the main 60,000- to 70,000-square-foot building. The building will house the worship facility, fellowship area, classrooms and offices.
The master site plan calls for additional buildings as needed in years to come.
The church’s land is separated by Ribelin Ranch Road. It does not expect to be developing that land initially.
Austin Baptist has nearly 800 members. It has grown significantly from just over three years ago when 100 people came together to start the church.
“We formed from a group of people who basically started a Bible study class,” Dyer said.
Austin Baptist is part of the Southern Baptist Convention and Austin Baptist Association. Currently it has three full-time and two part-time ministers.
The church has both traditional and contemporary services, with traditional making up the larger group of attendees, Dyer said. “We are certainly strengthening our “One area we’re focusing on is student ministry and where we’re going to be located with proximity of those campuses we feel we’ll be very capable to help with student ministry,” Dyer said.
He has been with the Austin Baptist congregation for a year after being involved in Baptist churches all of his life.
Dyer’s father was a pastor and started a church in Killeen and then most of his growing up was in Irving. Dyer himself served as pastor first of Lakeview Baptist Church in the Belton-Temple area and then at First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove. From 1995 until 2010 he was pastor at First Baptist Church in Midland.
Dyer and his wife Teena live in River Place. They have one son, Brent, who serves as worship leader at Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo.
The Church at Canyon Creek is also a Baptist church nearly four miles away. But Dyer said there is a need for more churches to reach the growing Four Points area.
Austin Baptist Church has two church services designed to allow a choice of worship style.
The church’s Bible Fellowships (Sunday School) meet between the two services in order to allow everyone to participate, regardless of which service they attend.
For specific information regarding times and locations log on to austinbaptistchurch.com.