Church saved by merger

THE Parsonage Grove Baptist Church has been given a new lease on life.

Renovations and new lease on life for Parsonage Grove

The church was in danger of closing but has instead merged with the Bendigo Baptist Church.

The Parsonage Grove Baptist Church has undergone extensive renovations and will reopen as an extension campus of the Bendigo Baptist Church.

The Bendigo Baptist Church is now working under the motto "one church, two locations" with a Junortoun and Eaglehawk campus.

The Parsonage Grove/Eaglehawk campus has been closed for renovations, with people instead meeting at the Eaglehawk Primary School, but will reopen this Sunday.

Bendigo Baptist Church senior Pastor Dave Lovell said merger talks started in the middle of last year.

"I asked them if they'd be willing to merge with the Bendigo Baptist Church and become an extension campus of the Bendigo Baptist Church in Eaglehawk," he said.

"They considered it and at the end of last year they made a decision, voted on it, and they decided to merge.

"So as of the end of December/start of January, they no longer existed in their current form or their old form of Parsonage Grove Baptist Church and they were now known as the Eaglehawk Campus of the Bendigo Baptist Church.

"What that has meant for the church community is that they are now part of one church in two locations - we're using that phrase a lot.

"They're a part of the bigger broader Baptist Church but for all intensive purposes they are still in that location, in that building and their work and ministry is still going ahead in that location but as a part of the wider Bendigo Baptist Church."

They're a part of the bigger broader Baptist Church but for all intensive purposes they are still in that location ... - Pastor Dave Lovell

Pastor Lovell said the church had appointed a campus Pastor.

"His name is Brock Gravener," he said.

"So I'm the senior Pastor at the Bendigo Baptist Church and Brock is one of the associates and will take responsibility out there in Eaglehawk.

"He has started in that role out there in that capacity.

"And we will officially launch the new campus on April 27 with a service at 2pm."

The Bendigo Baptist Church believes the merger will provide a greater opportunity to reach out to our local community and, in turn, better serve the community.

Pastor Lovell said Sunday's service would be a celebration of the two formerly independent churches working together and the commissioning of Pastor Gravener into his new role.

"It's exciting," he said.

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