Baptist and Reflector
NASHVILLE — South Gate Baptist Church in Nashville has given its building and 11 acres, valued at $750,000, to Iglesia Bautista Renacer.
The signing of paperwork on Jan. 7 marked the celebration and culmination of months of study and prayer by members of South Gate, according to Rusty Sumrall, director of missions for Nashville Baptist Association
Sumrall said that South Gate began looking into revitalization in the spring of 2017. After studying five different options for the future, the congregation entered into a time of prayer, he recalled.
The end result was that the congregation felt the Lord calling them to give their building and property to the Hispanic congregation, Sumrall said.
Leaders from both churches worked together to finalize the transfer of property. Pastor Eliab Saenz of Iglesia Bautista Renacer said he has “never seen a more generous congregation than South Gate. The congregation has always been welcoming of the Hispanic church, Saenz affirmed.
Steve Holt, church services director for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, noted that South Gate has had a history of working with ethnic congregations. “It’s in their DNA to be Kingdom-minded and do what it could to reach the community,” Holt observed.
He said it is noteworthy that when the congregation realized that it couldn’t be a self-sustaining church anymore, they wanted to make sure that the “building did not lose its purpose of being a gospel outpost in the community.”
By making the decision to give its building and property to the Hispanic church, South Gate made it clear that they want to ensure that the gospel will continue to be preached in the community and that people will be discipled and sent forth to be missionaries, Holt said.