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|New steeple placed at Vidalia FBC|
First Baptist Church Vidalia minister Dan Glenn took new meaning to the phrase "lifted on high" on Friday. At that time, he continued a tradition by placing a cross on top of the steeple standing above the renovated sanctuary at FBC Vidalia.
Glenn was told by workers at Allen Construction of Rayville that the minister usually places the cross, which also serves as a lightning rod, on top of the steeple.
In this case, Glenn was hoisted about 125 feet into the air to place the cross on top as a few congregational members looked on. Allen Construction Manager Tim Allen rode alongside Glenn in the crane bucket.
"I was fine as long as we were going up along the building and I had something to grab on to," Glenn said. "When we crested to the top of the roof and all we had was the steeple, that got real unnerving."
Glenn also penned a scripture on the cross, quoting 1 Corinthians 1:18, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."
The original steeple was placed on the church in 1981 when the new sanctuary was built. The idea for the steeple goes back to the first time former FBC Vidalia pastor Dr. Ralph Webber crossed the Mississippi River Bridge in Vidalia.
"When I first came 12 years ago, one of the first things you could see of Vidalia from the bridge was a whiskey bottle sign," Webber told the Sentinel in 1981, referring to a tall Jack Daniels bottle sign in front of McDonough's Liquors. "I thought how much better it would be to have instead a sign of Christianity."
The sign later come down during a storm.
The $1.6 million sanctuary renovation project includes a new foyer with stairs accessible to the balcony, new restrooms, new multi-purpose classrooms/bridal room, new furnishings, enlarged pulpit and choir area and state of the art lighting and sound.
The completion date for the addition is scheduled for May 17, 2009. Services are being held in the multi-purpose building during construction.
"We're ahead of schedule on the inside and a little behind on the outside because of the weather," Allen said. "But it's coming along fine."
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