The Ebenezer Community Church in Minnesota, the United States, on September 8, 2019 broke ground for the second phase of its building project. This new phase estimated at US$4.5 million, includes a 20,000 square-feet edifice with a 1,000 seat sanctuary, as well as offices and educational space.
The Educational space, according to Dr. Tabla, will be named in honor of Rev. Dr. Peter James Flamming, Pastor Emeritus of the Historic First Baptist Church in Richmond, VA, USA. Under Dr. Flamming’s leadership, First Baptist Church Partnered with Ebenezer Community Church in significant ways including the acquisition of the 4.3 acres of land and the first phase construction. First Baptist Church of Richmond is also where Rev. Lott Carey held membership before going to Liberia to serve as Pastor of Providence Baptist Church on Broad and Ashmun streets in Monrovia and Chief medical Officer of the Republic of Liberia. The Lott Carey Baptist Mission School in Brewerville, Liberia is named in honor of Rev. Lott Carey.
According to Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Church, Rev. Dr. Francis O. S. Tabla, construction “by God’s grace is expected to begin this fall to be completed in late summer of next year,” with Dennis Batty & Associates as Architect and Terra Construction as General Contractors. The church’s first phase was completed in early 2016 with a 14,000 square feet facility at the cost of U$3.02 million.
The 2nd phase groundbreaking ceremony coincided with the church’s 19th anniversary celebration, under the theme: “Expectation from the Lord” (taken from the text of Proverbs 24:14). The celebration included revival services and a thanksgiving service graced by anointed men and women of the gospel, including Reverend Simeon L. Dunbar, Senior Pastor of the Liberty Christian Center in Johnsonville, Liberia.
Rev. Dunbar, a revivalist and preacher who is also a former school mate of Dr. Francis & Rev. Christine Tabla at the Booker Washington Institute in Kakata, Liberia in the mid eighties, delivered a power-packed thanksgiving message under the theme, “The Blessings of the Lord”, from the text Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord makes rich and adds no sorrow”. He challenged ‘African’ Christians to “break forth and make a difference at home and abroad for the time is now.”
During the course of the thanksgiving service, Deacon Gladys Freeman-Fahngon, was installed as Chair of Deacons, while Deacon Chester Weah, was installed as Vice Chair of Deacons. Deacon Richard Z. Toweh, was licensed as a Minister of the Gospel; Licentiate Massa J. Logan was installed as Director of Evangelism; and Brother Thomas Mason, as Church Clerk.
Dr. Tabla said the services were graced by the unprecedented presence of God to the extent that “God held up the rain for the groundbreaking to occur without any setback.”
Some dignitaries, including, Hon. Carlton George, Liberia’s Consul General to the Midwest, deputizing for Liberia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Hon. George Patten; Madam Wokie Freeman-Gbogba, Assistant City Manager of the City of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota; and Reverend Clint Calvert of the Minnesota Wisconsin Baptist Convention, attended the program. Other guests were Hon. Arthur Biah and Mrs. Georgette Gray of the Organization of Liberians in Minnesota; Mr. Isaac Russell, National President of the Maryland County Association of North America (NAMCAL), Mrs. Lydia Wuo, President of Minnesota chapter of NAMCAL; Ms. Alice Temah-Cooper, Queen of the Minnesota Chapter of the Booker Washington Institute National Alumni Association of North America, Reverend George Wonlon, Executive Director of the Liberian Ministers Association of Minnesota; Ilan Sharon, Jewish Liaison of African/Christians United for Israel; Apostle Samuel Barnes Carr, Senior Pastor of Triumphant Living Miracle Assembly of God, Gardnersville, Liberia; along with believers from other parts of the USA. Liberian gospel recording artist Ethelyn Naiah, AKA “Give Me a New Day” and Liberian-Ghanian gospel musical artist Steve Kelly, AKA “This Year Is My Year” also graced the occasion.
Rev. Dr. Francis & Rev. Christine Jallah-Tabla, Pastors of the church and also natives of Liberia, earlier welcomed and thanked those who attended the event and asked God’s blessings upon them for their encouragement, friendship, prayers and support given to Ebenezer Community Church over the years. He also applauded friends and well-wishers, who gave generously and continue to support the project’s Gofundme page and other mediums to assist the church with the construction cost.
Ebenezer Community Church is a body of believers that love God, care for each other and doing missions at home and abroad. The church has a growing congregation of over 700 members pursuing the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Liberian community in Minnesota and the African community at large. The following nations currently make up the membership: Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and the USA. The church continues to be a great testament to what God can do with and through a hand full of people who believe Him for great things; a beacon of hope, inspiration and pride to Liberians and all Africans in the diaspora, and a success story for all acquaintances and well wishers. All are welcome to visit the church when in Minnesota: 9200 West Broadway, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota 55445.
The church seeks to provide more ministry in evangelism and discipleship; services to the elderly and adult literacy programs; mentoring programs to help shield youths from gangs; cultural diversity orientation to help reduce cultural conflicts; as well as tutorial program to assist those with deficiencies in English and mathematics.
At the close of the program, African dishes were served.