Chinese Independent Baptist Church, which was founded in 1906, has grown from a congregation of 70 persons to a stable congregation of well over 700 persons in 2005. As the congregation expanded, CIBC had to continuously search for places with higher capacity to contain the growing number of believers and to educate them in the knowledge of the gospel.
According to lead pastor of CIBC, Dr. Alvin Louie, CIBC started their expansion project which has taken 5 to 6 years up until now with only few weeks left till its completion. In 1999, CIBC bought a house located on 9th street, which was located near the main church building on 8th Street. However, because they did not have ownership of the building located in between the main church on 8th street and the newly purchased property, they were not able to connect the properties until in 2001 when they purchased a three-story building, which was the middle property connecting both the main church on 8th Street, and the house property on 9th Street. Since then the CIBC expansion project has undergone major development.
Even after overcoming the seemingly impossible obstacle of obtaining ownership of the two buildings located on 9th street, they are faced with another major problem as they proceeded to renovate the three story building. The building process required a permit from the city, and the cost would be unthinkable. Thus, in order to overcome these problems, the practical way is to break down the three-story building and to build anew on the empty spaces.
Five years later on Apr 10th, Chinese Independent Baptist Church will have its dedication service for its newly finished four-level building and of size 15,000 sq ft, which will be used for many different educational purposes. The objectives of the expansion project are to provide spaces for Sunday School Classrooms, Pastoral and Church Offices, Multi-Purpose room, and community outreach facilities.
For his expectation of the growth and development, Dr. Louie said that after a year from now the church number would grow to over a thousand people. The New Building would be able to accommodate up to 300 people during the first hour (9:30-10:45 a.m.) and 300 people during the second hour (11:00 a.m.- 12:00 noon) thus giving the New Building a combined capacity of accommodating over 600 people.
“The building is for God’s glory and God’s glory would shine through Chinatown and through the greater East Bay,” said Dr. Louie.