Enlarged, remodeled First Baptist Church hosts open house SundayNov 20, 2015 By Eric Blom, Staff Writer
Riverton's First Baptist Church is celebrating the completion of a new addition to its building with an open house on Sunday, Nov. 22.
The construction project completed in October added two offices and rebuilt the entrance to the church.
"We really wanted it to feel welcoming and warm and for anyone in the community to feel like we feel like we're a family ... a warm space where we can laugh and hang out, pray and cry with each other," assistant pastor Allen Peil said.
Some congregants thought the building had a cold, institutional feel before.
"I think it feels more like a home with this kind of an entrance," Peil said.
He invited anyone from the community to attend the church's worship service at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, or the open house at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. The event will feature cookies, coffee and tours at no charge.
Remodeling last year rebuilt the church's bathrooms, making them handicapped-accessible, and removed two offices from the foyer area to open up the space.
A third phase of construction also is in the works.
It would remodel handicapped ramps at entrances to the building to make the incline less steep and make the access more comfortable.
"(We want) to make them enclosed and out of the weather and to make them feel like anyone who comes in those doors is not a second-class citizen," Peil said.
Local contractors did the construction, and several groups from a Christian volunteer organization Hard Hats for Christ also lent a hand.
"We had some from Oregon, Texas - just kind of all over the country," Peil said.
One of the local contractors added a custom detail to a metal support for the sinks in the women's bathroom.
"They actually formed the metal bar to say 'Jesus,'" Peil said. "It's probably a personal touch you'd only get in a small town."
First Baptist was the first church in Riverton, Peil said.
It started Sunday school in 1906, the year of the city's founding, and worship services in 1907.