Our HistoryWest Mobile Baptist Church
Looking Back and Forwardby Donna Jones
West Mobile Baptist Church (WMBC) celebrated their 20th anniversary in January 2010 and will celebrate their 25th in 2015. The church was chartered January 8, 1990 originally meeting in a carpet store. It’s not uncommon to hear stories from charter members of sitting on carpet rolls during the first few services. They progressed from there to sharing the facilities of another church then to a building that was a former boat dealership. Finally, in 1993 they built the building they now occupy at 7501 Airport Blvd…complete with comfortable chairs, although, you may not spend much time sitting in them. The church has an open altar during the worship service, so if you are not standing to sing, you may be going to the altar to pray…for your own needs or with someone else.
WMBC is not a traditional church. There is no program with an order of service. They don’t even have hymn books! The music is a mix of contemporary Christian songs and traditional hymns creating a wonderfully inspiring worship experience. Sometimes the worship service is so inspirational Pastor Gibbs will give an invitation before he even preaches his sermon. Sometimes he gets so caught up in what God is doing in a service that he even forgets to take up the offering. Traditional? No way! But, you can be assured the gospel is presented.
With all that said, the building and the worship service are not what make WMBC unique. It is the members. They are caring people who love to serve God by serving others, whether it is through the food pantry, the clothes closet, visiting/providing for the sick, participating in mission trips, or being involved in a number of other ministries.
WMBC has had its ups and downs as would any church that has been around for 20 years, but through it all, the church has remained true to its mission, “Partnering with God to change lives.” Pastor Charles Gibbs has a heart for the lost and a gift for reaching out to them. He knows the key to life change is salvation and a relationship with God. That relationship is nurtured through the small group ministry where God’s word is shared and applied. The small groups meet on Sunday morning at the church or at other locations throughout the week. The church also has active children’s, youth, and college ministries.
In 2005 WMBC made a special investment in their youth ministry, and The Hangar was born. It is a large metal building that looks like…well, an airplane hangar. The concept evolved from a Disciple Now retreat based on the verse John 7:37 (hence the airplane theme…737). The Hangar is a place where teenagers can hang out…play basketball, air hockey, visit with friends, etc. But, more importantly, it is a place where they can learn God’s word and put it into practice.
Yes, WMBC is looking back over the past 20 years. It has been an incredible journey, but the journey hasn’t ended. Their focus will now turn to the future and the plans God has in store for them as they look forward to eternity.
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