Faith-based arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby has donated a historic church building to the members of the NOLA Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The donation, which took place in late-December, allows the congregation to move forward with plans to renovate the building and relocate from a leased warehouse space.
“We trusted that He would provide all that we needed if He wanted us to steward this property,” Pastor Kyle Jagers told the Baptist Message. “God far exceeded our expectations.”
NOLA Baptist Church began in 2013 as a church plant of Norris Ferry Community Church, Shreveport. The church relocated a few times, including in 2017 to its current location on Tchoupitoulas Street.
Through conversations with New Orleans Baptist Association leaders, the church learned Valence Street Baptist Church (who donated the property to the association after they closed in 2016) was for sale.
NOBA and NOLA Baptist Church then signed a purchase agreement. However, Hobby Lobby learned of the situation and in November 2022 purchased the facility for $275,000, with the end goal of one day donating the property to the church.
NOLA Baptist Church has already spent nearly $100,000 in renovation work on the 140-year-old building that included removal of asbestos and some external repairs.
Moving forward, the church must continue renovations that may cost up to $2 million, and soon they will begin fundraising efforts.
“God was gracious to give us a verse to cling to in this season,” Jagers said. “In Revelation 3:8 Jesus tells the church in Philadelphia, ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my Word and have not denied my name.’
“Though we have but little power, we believe Jesus has opened door for us that no one can shut,” he said. “This verse also shows us how to walk through this door that he has opened. He says, ‘yet you have kept my Word and not denied my name.’ We move forward with stewardship of this property by keeping His Word and holding fast to His name. … He will provide all that we need in order to do all the works that He has appointed for us.”