ST. PETERSBURG — The groundbreaking ceremony for the new Pleasant Grove Baptist Church was held on last Sat., Oct 10 on the northeast corner lot on 37th Street South and 21st Avenue.
A sea of blue and white t-shirts could be seen several blocks away as clouds streamed overhead. Members of all ages gathered, including infants with their mothers to family matriarchs and patriarchs. A large white tent was pitched near the row of 10 shovels with white construction hats on the handles.
Mistress of Ceremonies for the momentous occasion was Sarah Anderson who is also a member of the Groundbreaking Committee.
Rev. Earnest Jones of Galilee Missionary Baptist Church started the program with the Call to Worship and Invocation. Next, Barbara Walker led everyone to sing the congregational hymn “We’ve Come This Far by Faith.”
“God has brought us here and He has heard our prayers,” said Anthony Harrell, chairman of Trustees.
He continued by thanking the congregation for their gifts and dedication thus far. “Without you and your efforts we wouldn’t be here today,” Harrell said while also thanking Cornerstone Bank for stepping up to fund the construction of the new building.
School Board member Rene Flowers also greeted the congregation and praised their years of service to the community and for undertaking the milestone of erecting their new church home in the community that they have served for nearly 70 years.
City Councilmember Wengay Newton, General Contractor on the project, Harlan Haslow and Jim Dusil of Cornerstone Bank all spoke briefly about the soon to be new home of Rev. Don L. Middleton and his congregation. Currently they worship at 1210 Union St. S.
Chairman of the Deacons, John Haynes, gave the “Prayer Upon the Beginning of the Work” and reciting the charge for the “Breaking of Ground” was Rev. Fleming Tarver of the St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Clearwater.
All members and well-wishers stood up and turned to face the north where each shovel was manned by members of the Groundbreaking and Finance Committees.