Liberty Missionary Baptist Church dedicates new facility

By MICHAEL BROOKS / Special to the Reporter

ALABASTER – Pastor Akeam Simmons said the dedication of his church’s new Family Life Center is the fulfillment of a dream the church has had for seven years.

Members of Liberty Missionary Baptist Church in Alabaster held a dedicatory service and ribbon-cutting on Saturday for the facility, and plan a worship celebration on Nov. 20.

“We worked for a while, and then we stopped and raised more money,” Simmons said. “That’s why it took so long. But we’re pleased with the result. Our people have done something majestic in God’s name.”

The new facility “wraps around” the older facility, Simmons explained, adding a lobby to the sanctuary area plus office, classroom and meal space, encompassing some 30,000 square feet. The building has a full commercial kitchen that will be used for church gatherings, wedding receptions and other events.

Simmons, Liberty’s pastor for 14 years, said the center will not only serve his church members, but community members as well.

“It’s called a Family ‘Life’ Center for a reason,” Simmons said. “We will deal with all of life. We want to help people who don’t have jobs, so we’ll offer job training in partnership with local employers. And we’ll have classes for dance, karate and other cultural activities. Plus we’ll have additional classrooms for Bible study.”

Alabaster Ward 1 council Sophie Martin helped with the official ribbon-cutting and noted that the church began its work about the time she was elected to the city council eight years ago.

“The scripture says ‘you will reap in due time if you faint not,'” she said. “Liberty didn’t give up and we celebrate today.”

Alabaster Mayor Marty Handlon said church officials had been “gracious at every turn” in working with city officials in the construction.

“Like Job, you folks never gave up,” she said. “You’re doing God’s work and getting blessed for it.”

Handlon also read a letter of congratulations from Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley.

Liberty’s secretary, Betty Marcus, said Liberty has some 500 members.