Saint Rest Baptist Church members build lasting impact with new plaza

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the Saint Rest Baptist Church youth choir warmed up, you could make out the future of the church in the view from inside the sanctuary.

Dozens of volunteers from the church nailed down an interesting addition no more than 100 yards away from the church.

"We're building a platform right here, pretty much a stage, and also a landscape area as well so that it would involve the community and the church in any events that come up," said David Criner, Sr. of Saint Rest Baptist Church.

Saint Rest has owned the empty lot for years and feeds homeless people out of the neighboring building.

But the Saint Rest Plaza is a step up for this southwest Fresno neighborhood.

"We just thought it would be great for us as a church to reach out further to the community for the upkeep of the community to reach beyond just the feeding of the poor but also the community at large," Criner said.

Habitat for Humanity even helped turn pallets and plywood panels into a platform for a music stage and laid sod for a path to the church.

They envision regular community events out here, but always with a biblical message in mind -- even while they put in the sweat equity to build the future.

"This is ministry within itself. It's actually reaching out to those who don't know Christ and this gives them an opportunity to come to know Christ and this is part of it, reaching out. It goes beyond the church itself, beyond the four walls of the church, so that what the ministry truly is all about," Criner said.
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