Impact Inner City Church of Little Rock will soon be having worship services in the former property of Unity Bible Baptist Church.
Earlier this year, Bethany Baptist Church in North Little Rock dissolved and transferred its property to Unity Bible Baptist Church.
In turn, about a month or so later, Pastor Maurice Brister then offered the former Unity Bible Baptist Church property, located at 6403 Colonel Glenn Road, to Pastor Neal Scoggins to plant Impact Inner City Church of Little Rock.
Scoggins previously planted City of Refuge Community Church in 2014. When he left there in 2022, Scoggins made the statement that it was not his last stop.
After talks with Arkansas Baptist State Convention Church Planting Strategist Willie Jacobs, Scoggins knew he wanted to plant a church in the inner-city area of Little Rock but did not have a facility.
Having known Scoggins for years, when Brister heard Scoggins was looking for a location for a new church plant he began the paperwork to transfer the former Unity Bible Baptist Church property to Scoggins and Impact Inner City Church, sponsored by Geyer Springs Baptist Church.
Scoggins began hosting classes at the property in March. Worship services and small groups are anticipated to start in the next few months.
North Pulaski Associational Missional Strategist Greg Varndell said part of his job is to identify churches that would potentially need to be either replanted or revitalized.
One of Varndell’s early visits after joining the North Pulaski Baptist Association in 2020 was Bethany Baptist Church. The church was in decline in a community that had changed over the years, but still had a core group of people who were faithfully meeting and serving there.
“We had been working with Bethany for a couple of years about the possibility of replanting it,” he said, noting the church had dwindled down to about 10 folks.
In working with the Arkansas Baptist State Convention Church Planting Team, Varndell said they were able to bring Bethany and Unity Bible together. Since moving locations, Unity Bible Baptist’s attendance has gone from 50 to more than 90 and they have had six baptisms.
“My whole thing is I don’t care where you worship at. You don’t have to come to worship with me as long as you are going to worship with someone else,” Brister said. “I’m not trying to grow the church. That’s where we get messed up at. It ain’t about growing the church. It’s about growing the Kingdom.”
Varndell said the desire of the North Pulaski Baptist Association has always been to be the best partner to local churches and pastors.
“We work diligently to stay in our lane with that but at the same time we want to work with our pastors and our churches to reach our community with the Gospel,” Varndell said. “We love our churches. We love our communities. We love our pastors, and we want to see them continue to thrive and be healthy and reach their communities with the Gospel.”