First Baptist Church adds signs

PHOTO PROVIDED Pastor Doug Packard stands in front of the main entrance to First Baptist Church, Lock Haven, under one of the church’s new signs.

LOCK HAVEN — New signage was hung recently on the East Church Street side of First Baptist Church.

Butch Brown of Brownie’s sign company attached the new signs as his mobile lift truck boosted him 15 feet over the two entrances to the historic church.

The church minister, Pastor Doug Packard, said, “We installed a new electronic message board sign on the corner of Church and Vesper streets in the summer of 2016. That sign clearly identifies our church name. The lettering above both entrance doors had identified us since the auditorium’s addition was built in 1980. Last year, we started talking about using that space above the doors to convey our hearts to the hundreds of people who drive past First Baptist every day.”

The main entrance on East Church Street is the one closer to Vesper Street. The new sign above this entrance features beautiful earth tone colors with a picture of the cross and the words “Welcome, Hope Starts Here.”

The church aspires to be a place where hope for the heart is found, Pastor Packard said, and the church wants the public to know that. The “Hope Starts Here” phrase refers to the cross of Jesus Christ, not the First Baptist Church exclusively, he said.

The second sign is also on East Church Street, above the entrance closer to the Salvation Army building. That sign has the same color themes, but with a scripture quotation from Romans 15:13, a prayer from the Apostle Paul to the Roman Christians. It says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Pastor Packard explained, “During our year-long process to informally discuss this project as a church family, we considered many options to the signage wording. We considered famous sayings of Jesus, other famous quotes from the Psalms, and insightful slogans we had seen on other signs. We discovered the ‘Hope Starts Here’ idea in a publication, and longtime member Emily Hartman suggested the theme of joy be added. So it was decided to find an appropriate scripture. Because we had two sign spaces to create, we made our main entrance the invitation concept and the other a prayer.”

Both signs are five by 10 feet, with sunset colors and black letters.

“When we began the process of deciding to remove our name from above the main entrance door, some asked if we were changing our church name,” Pastor Packard said. “The name remains the same and is clearly visible on the electronic sign. When the new signs were completely installed, members prayed that the signs would be used of the Lord to not only draw a glance in the direction of First Baptist’s new signs, but for the members of our community to strongly consider the spiritual hope Jesus Christ offers them at His cross.”