New Beginning Baptist Church

Salem, Indiana

It’s not going out on a limb if God asks you to do to it.

In 2005, several founding members of New Beginning Baptist Church, Salem, Ind., took a step of faith and signed a $500,000 loan for their young congregation to build a church facility.

“We shared the vision to be a church for the unchurched,” says pastor Scott Huffaker, bivocational church planter.

Pastor Scott Huffaker leads his congregation to reach out to their rural community with the Gospel. In 2017 alone, 38 people in the rural farming community made professions of faith.

That same vision guided church leaders through designing building plans, choosing a construction company and eventually adapting to their new building.

As a “multipurpose” building, their church home is easily adaptable today for children’s and youth events as well as worship services, which average 100 to 130 attendees most Sunday mornings.

Church potlucks create a great opportunity for New Beginning Baptist Church to invite the community for a free meal.

“We want the church building to be a healing place, a safe place for people to come,” Huffaker’s wife Sherry says. “We offer a warm welcome.”

Beyond church functions, the building also opens its doors to the community as residents use it for events such as reunions, birthday parties, wedding receptions and even a homeschooling group.

Having a multi-purpose building allows New Beginning Baptist Church to open their doors to the community for more events than a traditional building might.

Recently, church leaders set out to refinance that loan signed by its charter members more than a dozen years ago. Through Southeastern Indiana Baptist Association, church leaders discovered WatersEdge Ministry Services, which offered a lower interest rate and committed to invest all interest revenue in other ministries and mission projects.

“There was no reason not to proceed – the loan process was so easy and non-stressful,” Sherry says. “It’s a way to give back.”

The loan, which closed this past March, has been a blessing, Huffaker says, because it “enables us to get out of debt faster, but also relieved the burden of a few charter members who financially backed the original loan.”

Additionally, he says, “With freed-up funds, those monies can be used for future outreach ministries to continue the vision of a church for the unchurched.”

Pastor Scott Huffaker and his wife, Sherry, have the blessing of attending church with their family.

In 2017 alone, 38 people in the rural farming community made professions of faith. “We are praying that number can grow as we are able to fund other outreach ministries in 2018 and beyond,” Huffaker says.


Story by Margaret Colson

Photos by Michael Chandler