New Hope Baptist Church, south of Black Oak, held a special note burning service Jan. 14 to celebrate paying off a loan to build the new family life center.
Special guests were on hand for the celebration. Due to the church's growing need for space, members undertook a building survey in August 2003 to purchase a building allowing the additional space.
What had been used by the women of the church for a storage room was needed for a classroom. At first the church decided to purchase a building to put behind the existing church. Before they could obtain prices on the new structure, they decided the existing fellowship hall was also too small.
For the rest of the year church members entered into a time of prayer, seeking God's will for their expansion project. In January they voted to obtain the loan and build a family life center. The concrete slab was poured and the metal building was erected. Members volunteered their time to complete the project. They voted to take a third Sunday building fund to help complete the project.
In December 2006 the note was paid in full, and the members set January as note burning month. The original 12x20 foot storage room has been turned into a 55x85 foot Family Life Center. Rev. Albert Camp from Paragould was on hand for the note burning, as he had been the pastor of the church when the original plans had been made and remains in that position today. Rev. Camp was assisted in the note burning by church deacon Earl Cobb.