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Fairview Baptist to become a Dual-Site Church
Fredericksburg church expands into Spotsylvania with construction of family life center

 An artist's rendering shows the design of the 38,000-square-foot Fairview Baptist Family Life Center off Tidewater Trail.
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Date published: 10/28/2006

By NATASHA ALTAMIRANO

For several years, leaders of Fairview Baptist Church in Fredericksburg have envisioned building a multipurpose community center.

They knew the Southern Baptist church had outgrown the landlocked building at Littlepage and Charlotte streets.

"We felt we needed to have an activities building and, because there was no room around the church, we knew we would have to seek land outside," said the Rev. Robert Sizemore, pastor for 14 years at the church, which has an average Sunday attendance of 350 over three services.

But there was the problem of finding affordable land and funding construction, Sizemore said.

The church's prayers were answered first with the donation of 5 acres from Tricord Cos. near the River Club development in Spotsylvania County.

Then, in 2001, a former Fredericksburg resident and church member left half of her multimillion-dollar estate to Fairview Baptist.

Lucy Hearn, a legal secretary from Baltimore, Md., gave her gift to a church she hadn't attended in more than 70 years.

"We were just shocked," Sizemore told The Free Lance-Star in August 2003. "Actually, 'shocked' doesn't do it justice. This was totally unexpected."

The church plans to complete a 38,000-square-foot family life center off Routes 2 and 17 by next fall.

The congregation held a ceremony at the site near the Fredericksburg Country Club earlier this month. Construction is expected to start soon.

The facility is designed to hold more than 700 people in its multipurpose and athletic space, classrooms, fellowship hall and kitchen.

The church plans to host contemporary worship services at the family life center in addition to its traditional services in Fredericksburg.

"With the large number of people coming in, particularly young adults, who were really interested in contemporary worship, we decided that it would be a full-service church facility," Sizemore said. "We call it the Fairview Family Life Center and it's going to be that. We're going to be a dual-site church."

The church also plans to host concerts and other events at its new center, he said.

"We want that to be a community facility," he said.

To reach NATASHA ALTAMIRANO:540/368-5036
Email: naltamirano@freelancestar.com