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First Southern Baptist Church unveils new parking lot
1st so baptist parking lot
A ribbon cutting was held for the new parking lot of the First Southern Baptist Church in Great Bend on Jan. 27. Rick Suchy, Suchy Construction, is in the center, holding the scissors, and to his left is Mike Sharkey of Sharkey Construction. Pastor Tim Singleton is holding the right end of the ribbon. Not pictured: Nelson Stone of Stone Sand Co. - photo by Susan Thacker

Church members, contractors and the school superintendent gathered at the First Southern Baptist Church, 3301 19th St., this week to dedicate the church’s new parking lot. Member Gary Burke said this project was “decades in the making.”

A group of church members formed Stewards Properties about 30 years ago and started buying property in the block for future expansion. Eventually four homes were purchased — three just west of the church where the new parking lot is located.

“Our church has been parking in the school parking lot for years,” Burke said, pointing to Great Bend Middle School to the north. Now the church can return the favor and provide extra parking when needed at Panther events. That is why Great Bend USD 428 Superintendent Khris Thexton was invited to attend the ribbon cutting.

Also attending were contractors Rick Suchy from Suchy Construction and Mike Sharkey from Sharkey Construction. Nelson Stone from Stone Sand Company was unable to attend to was also part of the project.

Pastor Tim Singleton said a prayer prior to the ribbon cutting.

“We are blessed to be a blessing,” Singleton said. “This parking lot is a perfect representation of that purpose. We hope that it will be a blessing to church attenders and visitors, but also a blessing to the community, with a special focus on the middle school. Just as parking has been an issue for our church, it is an issue for our schools as well. Pick-up, drop-off and parking are necessities that alleviate burdens and provide safety. Hopefully, this parking lot will bless many for a long time moving forward for the future of our church, middle school students and their parents, as well as the many visitors attending activities and enjoying Great Bend.”