Immanuel Baptist Church Pastor John Hunn is quick to point out a mere 1.7 miles and a four-minute church are all that separate the church where he preaches and Second Baptist Church.
“Just google it if you don’t believe me,” Hunn said Wednesday during a visit to Second Baptist Church to meet with Pastor Cordell L. Haynie to finalize details on an upcoming service involving the two congregations.
Haynie dubbed the service, “Union of Strength for the Kingdom Building of God,” which will be Sunday at 6 p.m. at Second Baptist Church. Fellowship will begin at 5 p.m.
“We want to invite everyone out just to come and get to know one another,” Hunn said.
Hunn said the service emerged from a Friday morning men’s Bible study at Michael’s Café.
“I’ve really been studying in my Bible about the kingdom of God. That kingdom includes all followers of God,” Hunn said. “From that Bible study, we went through that study and invited leaders from four other churches. I asked, ‘what can we do to put some flesh to it?’ So I got with Dr. Haynie, and they agreed to have us over for a Sunday night service.”
Hunn said despite Immanuel’s congregation as majority white and Second Baptist considered as a black church, only a short distance separates them.
“We see this as the beginning, not as a token,” Hunn said. “We see bigger and better things. This is unity based on our king in heaven. We’re just excited. Dr. Haynie and I know he and I can do so much.”
Haynie said Second Baptist Church has made its home on Adams Street since 1923. Immanuel Baptist Church is 67 years old. But the two pastors said Sunday’s event is the first of its kind with the two congregations coming together.
“We are really excited about the future of bringing people together,” Haynie said. “There are doors that are open and people are excited about coming together. Not only are we excited, but the Lord has a way of bringing people to help in his own time. Jesus says these words, ‘When there are two or three touching on the same things I will be in the midst.’ We had no idea all of this was going to come together. It was by the hand of God.”
Haynie said Second Baptist members will hand out a commemorative bookmark in recognition of the service.
“I think this is an excellent opportunity for the city of Lebanon to see,” Hunn said. “History will be made on Sunday because this is the first time Immanuel and Second Baptist have come together to worship Jesus.”