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Building the body and building homes for seniors

caines | 11/29/2012, 5 a.m.

Pastor prepares church for the future

One of the many duties of a pastor is to prepare Gods people for the works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up, according to Ephesians 4:11-12. It is also a fundamental belief that the elderly among the church should be honored and shown respect. Rev. Alphonso Jackson, Sr., and the congregation of the Second Baptist Church in Richmond Heights are gracefully upholding these beliefs. The church will break the ground and start building a senior citizen apartment complex on the churchs property, which will hold 79 units, next year. As the churchs vision of creating an apartment complex for seniors manifests, Jackson will concentrate on the well-being of the congregation. Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, the church will focus more closely on their physical, spiritual, educational and financial well-being, which Jackson calls building the body. We have to have the body strong for when that building is complete to be able to minister to the senior citizens, he said. If we strengthen ourselves inwardly, then we can be strong outwardly. The apartment complex will be named after Second Baptists founding pastor, John A. Ferguson, who passed away three months ago. Within the next five years, the church also plans on building a new sanctuary and an intergenerational family life center. Jackson said both children who are apart of the churchs day care and seniors who live in the senior complex will use the family life center the most. For the past 12 years, Jackson has humbly led the church in their mission to equip the saints, evangelize the sinners and elevate the savior. Although Jackson has celebrated his 12th pastoral anniversary about two weeks ago, he was not overly excited about the attention. I like the spotlight to stay on the ministry, he said I want the church to be a Kingdom-focused ministry. He said he wants the church to impact the community both locally and globally. While recognizing the changing demographics in the Richmond Heights community that surrounds Second Baptist, Jackson tries to reach out to other ethnicities and people with diverse backgrounds. The church has varied ministries to address the needs of church and community members, which include passing the FCAT, health and wellness, sign language and passing the teaching certification examination. I believe that whenever there is a need in the community there should be a ministry in the church, Jackson said. Were the church in the heart of the community with the community at heart. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com