Groundbreaking West Virginia Venture Establishes Church as Community Asset
By Carl Stagner
Buffalo, West Virginia, may not be a big spot on the map, but the small town’s Church of God is making a big impression on the community. For too long, townspeople have had no place to go for sizeable civic meetings, family reunions, school assemblies, and other gatherings. While the pandemic caused a lot of problems for a lot of people, it was during that difficult season that the Lord blessed Buffalo Church of God with financial increase. Following a subsequent building campaign, the congregation is on track to build a place for themselves and their neighbors, further establishing Buffalo Church of God as essential in their community.
“God is blessing the church and our reach to the community,” Mitchell Burch reflects. Pastor Mitch, who serves the church as senior pastor and West Virginia Ministries of the Church of God as state pastor, is excited to see what God has in store. “For years,” he continues, “the church has dreamed of a fellowship center where we can meet with our faith family and invite our community to share with us. While the year of the pandemic did not seem to be the best time to launch a ‘bigger than life’ building campaign, it was actually God’s timing. In 2020 the church experienced its best financial year in the history of the church and, then in 2021, we launched our building campaign. By God’s grace and for his glory, the campaign raised—to everyone’s surprise and amazement—$470,000 dollars over a three-year pledge period. During this same time period, over 20 people were saved and baptized! Glory!”
The new fellowship center will boast a capacity of nearly 300 and, for the small town of Buffalo, that’s a really big deal. It’s no wonder civic leaders showed up and offered remarks at the historic groundbreaking ceremony.
“The groundbreaking was an exciting event and captured the eye of the City of Buffalo,” Pastor Mitch Burch explains. “Our mayor is a personal friend of mine and has been very helpful in helping us get to this place. He was there to celebrate with the church and the city on this new expansion that we all believe will be a great blessing to the City of Buffalo.”
Of course, building projects like these generally represent tremendous opportunity for ministry. The church longs to see the property stewarded through the week, not shuttered between worship services.
“Our dream for this new facility,” Mitch explains, “is that it would accommodate hundreds of people sharing, laughing, celebrating, and enjoying one another. We dream it will be filled with people who need the love of Jesus expressed through this local church. We dream we can say a resounding yes to civic groups, school groups, family gatherings of all kinds, and corporate meetings, all in the name of Jesus. Our dream is that every event will ultimately be by his grace and for his glory!”
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.