Kitty Hawk Baptist Church dedicates new ministry building

Published 12:54 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

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Pastor Steve Siegrist led members of the community in prayer during a mid-December dedication service for a new addition to Kitty Hawk Baptist Church (KHBC). The brand-new annex, situated behind the existing church, will serve as a place where current ministries can progress, new ministries can begin, and partnerships can flourish. It represents the first stage of KHBC’s Fellowship Hall Campaign.

KHBC started as Kitty Hawk Chapel back in 1962. By 1980, the chapel grew into a church, and then into a sanctuary for worship, Sunday school, bible studies, and much more. It has seen the likes of numerous hurricanes and nor’easters which have all taken a toll on the old brick building. “It’s time to replace it,” Siegrist shared with those gathered in the new annex building.

The pastor has currently served KHBC for four years, and is not new to ministry. He has served four churches full-time over the last 26 years. Siegrist was with Ocean View Baptist Church for 14 years before retiring, only to take up an interim minister role following the death of late Pastor Donald Teears. Talk of replacing the fellowship hall started while Teears was still serving as pastor, and has now become more of a necessity as opposed to a desire. “On any good rainy day, it [the roof] leaks and the building is starting to fall apart,” Pastor Steve explained.

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Things started getting serious a few months back after KHBC sold their old annex building and began raising money for a new one. “It was important to have everything in here that we need so that when that building was torn down, we would still have a place for our ministries.”

Currently, KHBC offers their building as a gathering place and supports several local organizations. They host their food pantry, or “Manna Ministry,” every Wednesday afternoon. Lifeguard lunches are held in the summertime, along with an annual Patriots’ Day lunch, fall festival, Easter egg hunt, and Girl Scout events. The building is also used by local police departments, Ruthie’s Kitchen, Room in the Inn, AA, and a new church planter’s program, Calvary Chapel. This new annex will serve as a multi-purpose communal room for all of these ministries along with KHBC’s own Sunday school, youth meetings and bible studies, as a new fellowship hall is constructed.

A committee has formed within KHBC to lead efforts on developing a concept for the new fellowship hall. Not only will the new structure serve the current needs of the church, but the committee hopes it will become a shelter for natural disaster relief, a space where organizations from across the country can come and teach, and include a fully stocked kitchen. Opting for a coastal cottage feel, conceptualized structure plans have been produced and were on display during the dedication. The goal is to expand participation within the community and handle around 300 people. The campaign is still in its early stages, while the committee seeks financing and donations.

“This has been a dream and prayer for quite some time that we would build this new building,” Siegrist shared. He hopes new ministries will take root once the fellowship hall is complete. In the meantime, the pastor was excited about the opportunity to grow their current missions within the “bread ministry building.”

As mentioned, the “Manna Ministry” has become a successful effort within KHBC. During the dedication, racks upon racks of loafs of bread and boxed desserts were featured on the south wall. In partnership with companies such as Walmart, the church has been able to save community members hundreds of dollars on grocery store bills by providing bread and other food items at no cost. “… Walmart gives bread that is about to go off the shelves to employees who are actively involved in some type of volunteer organization,” said the pastor.

Bobby Culpepper, a fulltime Walmart employee and member of KHBC, explained that Walmart has a volunteerism paid grant that goes towards 5013c organizations, and community grants which any organization can apply for. Products that are close to expiration can then be granted to employees to go towards volunteer programs, such as the manna ministry. Walmart granted KHBC $5,000 in 2020 to purchase a trailer for hauling supplies in support of their efforts, and continues to grant $1,000 annually to cover the cost of travel. “Walmart has been a big help with all of this,” Culpepper said. Roughly 150 trays (3,500-4,000 lbs. of bread) are sorted every Tuesday and those that are approved for human consumption are assorted within the new annex building for people to come and take with them every Wednesday afternoon. “We usually have forty to fifty people outside the door waiting to get bread for their families and neighbors,” Pastor Steve shared.

Just like the manna ministry, KHBC hopes the Fellowship Hall Campaign will grow into something that satisfies the needs of the community. The new annex building was the first step in a journey to revitalize their church and make room for more community partnerships. Siegrist noted, “This is really a celebration because this is one step closer to the many ways we’re going to be able to do great things in this community.”