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Immanuel eyes expansion with land purchase

Xavier Smith • Apr 14, 2017 at 2:17 PM

Immanuel Baptist Church will look to improve and expand its presence in Lebanon and Wilson County in the future as the church bought land Thursday in west Lebanon.

Immanuel Baptist Church senior Pastor John Hunn said the church closed on about 33 acres of land at the intersection of Leeville Pike, Crowell Lane and Tuckers Gap Road.

“It’s something that has been talked about for a long time. The land wasn’t for sale, and then we received a call about 6-8 months ago from [Patricia and Roger Acuff] and said they wanted us to have it,” said Hunn.

Hunn said church leaders have searched for land for expansion for at least eight years. He said the church’s current campus is not senior and adult friendly due to the hills and slopes of the campus.

“It stretches across three different streets, and this would allow us to put everything on one campus,” said Hunn, who said the potential building could give the church a solid foundation for the next 50 years as the area experiences growth.

“This would take care of our long-term needs,” Hunn said.

Hunn said church leaders want to continue to be a community-friendly church, which was the goal since 1947. He said the move would align with a belief he inherited from Cumberland University baseball head coach Woody Hunt to constantly improve and expand.

“This would allow us to do everything better,” Hunn said.

Hunn said the mission and the purpose for the move wasn’t misconstrued, which he said was important to him.

“Some of the people who have been most excited about the plans have been seniors and adults. We wanted to be ultrasensitive to those who have had an historical and personal stake in the church,” Hunn said.

Hunn said church members raised more than $1 million in a six-week fundraiser, and the move would happen in three phases – land purchase, decisions on assets and building construction.

He said the goal is to have the facility built in the next 3-5 years, but a lot has to happen for it to take place.

Hunn said the goal would remain the same regardless of the future location.

“We want to continue to be a blessing to the community and make a difference,” Hunn said. “We can’t thank the Acuffs enough, and we really want to be a blessing and good neighbors to that part of town.”

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