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Leaving a legacy for the future

The concrete floor was hard and cold; the air inside the newly built Family Life Center was frigid, but that didn’t stop the joy, the excitement and the tears of church members and friends who gathered Sunday night for a special dedication ceremony – something they hope will help carry the new facility well into the future as it serves others.

The new LUMC Life Center/Fellowship Hall at Luverne United Methodist Church is well on its way to being completed with over 9,000 square feet in the total structure that will soon be the vantage point for conferences, basketball games, concerts, and not to mention the fact that it will be the second certified Red Cross shelter in Crenshaw County.

Sunday night’s special service had members and friends alike on their knees, writing their prayers for the new family life center, and writing their hopes for the future generations who will walk through its doors.

“My grandmother and granddaddy helped start this church,” Bubba Clark said. “I was part of the building and planning committee for this, but I was just a small part…This is God’s idea.”

“God is like your granddaddy,” Clark explained. “He says, ‘I think you need to do this,’ and I said, ‘Nah,’ and He says to me again, ‘I think you need to do this,’ and, of course, again I said, ‘Nah.’”

“Then He plunks you on the back of the head and says, ‘Do it!’” Clark said, smiling. “The fire made us do it.”

“This building will be the center of our Christian lives, not just a Christian life center,” he added. “When the Bible tells us to ‘Make a joyful noise unto the Lord,’ I believe it’s more than just about singing—I believe it’s basketball and children playing and laughter and conferences, and that’s what we’ll have here.”

Ken Jackson, pastor of LUMC, said that the new Family Life Center was a “tool to tell the coming generations what this church is about and what it has to offer.”

“This building is about sharing the good news of the Lord,” Jackson said.

Rachel Watts and Vicki Law agreed that the opportunities to reach all age groups were endless.

“As a teacher, I can see the endless amount of opportunities to reach out not just to our children, but to all the children in the whole community,” Watts said. “I can’t wait to hear the laughter.”

Law agreed.

“The children are so excited about it all that they can’t wait to bring their friends to our church,” she said.

As Sandy Walker knelt to write on the cold, concrete floor, she kept pausing to wipe her tears.

“I’m writing this prayer that was emailed to me from some children who had grown up in this church, and they want to see this new Life Center be passed on to the next generation,” she said. “They want us to feed the homeless and provide healthcare clinics—I just can’t wait for the doors to open.”