Nebraska Church Eyes Bar for New Sanctuary

A recently created Baptist congregation in Nebraska is looking to purchase and renovate an old bar to use as a sanctuary.

Springfield Baptist Church, which began as a satellite of Bellevue Baptist Church in 2010, filed a conditional use permit with the Springfield City Council in June. A vote on their permit for the facility, formerly known as Stack's Bar and BBQ, will be voted on at a public hearing held by the Springfield City Council Tuesday evening.

In an interview with local media, Springfield Baptist administrator and co-founder Lee Smith explained his church's plans for the site.

"It really kind of fits us and what we need right now," said Smith to Erin Duffy of the Omaha World Herald. "Eventually we'll remodel it and it'll be nice, but right now it's good enough for us to meet and worship in."

For 50 years, Stack's Bar was known as a popular place of socializing for the Nebraska community. Recently, the owners sold the property to Springfield Baptist.

The church hopes to purchase and renovate the 2,200-square-foot building for purposes of holding worship services. At present, the Springfield Baptist congregation meets at a local elementary school.

Kathleen Gottsch, city clerk and treasurer for the city of Springfield, told The Christian Post about the background of the process Springfield Baptist is involved in.

"Churches are permitted conditional uses within the General Business Zoning District. Therefore, the Springfield Baptist Church has submitted an application to locate and operate a church within that district," said Gottsch.

"The Planning Commission held a public hearing on June 11, 2013, and made a recommendation to the City Council of approval of the conditional use permit to locate and operate a church on property… located at 189 Locust Street."

Gottsch also told CP that once the public hearing was concluded, they would consider a resolution that would "allow Springfield Baptist Church" to "operate a church" on the property.

Founded in 2010, Springfield Baptist Church is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, which is the largest Protestant denomination in the United States.

Springfield Baptist did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.

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