Ferdinand church working on permanent home

Photos by Rachel Mummey/The Herald
Michael Willhite of Huntingburg, left, his daughter Abby, 5, and Justin Bosley of Santa Claus pulled weeds while Patty Stutsman of Santa Claus cleaned the windowsills of the True Vine Baptist Church congregation’s new home in Ferdinand on June 24. The church is converting the building at 2105 Pine Drive that previously housed Island Tropix Plus into the congregation’s first permanent home. Church members were cleaning their new building in preparation for vacation Bible school last week. Additional photos are at DuboisCountyHerald.com.

By ALEXANDRA SONDEEN
Herald Staff Writer

FERDINAND — A growing Ferdinand church that has been meeting in a bank basement will soon have a place to call its own.

True Vine Baptist Church is converting the building at 2105 Pine Drive that previously housed Island Tropix Plus into the congregation’s first permanent home.


Emma LaGrange of Ferdinand, 5, second from left, wiped down a chair while with her sister Mya, 2, left, watched in front of the new church building for True Vine Baptist Church in Ferdinand on June 24. The girls are the daughters of the pastor, Josh LaGrange.

“We are super excited,” Pastor Josh LaGrange said. “But we’re also trying to keep the right perspective that the building is not the main goal. The bigger picture is ministering to people.”

Pastor Josh, 31, started the Southern Baptist congregation in 2005 through Bible study classes. The first Sunday service was on Easter that year with just six people attending. The congregation has grown to about 60 people and has been meeting at Old National Bank on Main Street.

“We’ve just been tenacious about praying the whole time we’ve been here,” the pastor said. “We’re blessed and thankful.”

The existing Pine Drive building, which was used for the first time by the church’s vacation Bible school last week, eventually will be the sanctuary. Sunday services won’t be held there for a few months, when an addition is completed to include new bathrooms, two classrooms, an office and a general play area for children.


Alex Pacheco of Ferdinand, 7, left, wrung out his sponge as he and Emma LaGrange of Ferdinand, 5, Abby Willhite of Huntingburg, 5, Emma’s sister Lizzy, 7, and Alex’s brother Cameron Hile, 11, scrubbed the floors of the new building for the congregation of True Vine Baptist Church in Ferdinand on June 24. The congregation was cleaning the building in preparation for vacation Bible school last week.

“The main focus is having a place we can all come together and not feel like we can’t do things,” member Richard Haycox of Santa Claus said. Haycox is on the church’s building committee. “The bank has been great, but having our own building opens a whole realm of possibilities.”

All of the work so far, including the initial purchase of the property, has been both paid for and completed by the congregation. Haycox estimated more than half of the church members have contributed to the remodeling, which began about two months ago.

“Some things just kind of go slow because it’s all volunteer work,” Pastor Josh said. “We try to schedule things on weekends and evenings.”

The addition to the building is being designed and once the appropriate permits are lined up, the church will get to work, Haycox said.


True Vine Baptist Church member Patty Stutsman of Santa Claus cleaned the windowsills of the church’s new home in Ferdinand on June 24.

“Our congregation is growing just with people knowing there will be a building to go to,” he said. “I think once the building is ready, we will grow even more.”

Pastor Josh said the new building, which he estimated could hold about 100 people in the sanctuary, will also provide space for the church to begin mission work.

“We want to get out and serve and work,” he said. “We don’t want to just show up for Sunday services.”

True Vine’s weekly services are at 10:30 a.m. Sundays at Old National Bank. Sunday school starts at 9:30 a.m., with time for fellowship immediately following the service. Starting today, prayer meetings and Bible classes at 7 p.m. Wednesdays will be held at the building on Pine Drive.

Contact Alexandra Sondeen at asondeen@dcherald.com.




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