North Arkansas Baptist Association dedicates new building

The North Arkansas Baptist Association held a building dedication on April 22 at its new location, 912 Goblin Drive in Harrison. (Mary Alford/ABN)

HARRISON, Ark. – The North Arkansas Baptist Association hosted a building dedication on Saturday, April 22, at its new location in Harrison.  

On his return from spending Christmas break in Tulsa with family, North Arkansas Baptist Association Associational Missionary David Graham received a call from the water department informing him the water at the former association building had been running for five days.  

Graham went to the building, located on North Chestnut Street in Harrison, and, sure enough, a pipe had frozen. He noted several buildings in the area had frozen pipes due to the frigid temperatures in late December.  

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Ceiling tiles cover a desk and the floor after a pipe froze and flooded the former North Arkansas Baptist Association building. (Submitted)

The way the pipe was structured, Graham said the ceiling tiles filled with water before crashing down. Walking into the building, Graham described it as a “kiddie pool” with the amount of water covering the floors.  

Immediately, Graham put out an invite to a “wet-vac party” to help get the water out of the building. He said several people showed up and they worked for several hours.  

Knowing Eagle Heights Baptist Church was having discussions regarding the sale of their property at 912 Goblin Drive in Harrison, Graham reached out.  

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Water covers the floor of the former North Arkansas Baptist Association building. (Submitted)

A few days later, Graham went to the property on Goblin Drive to look at it. He had a gentleman come to him and say that if the association wanted to buy the building, he would give a $250,000 anonymous gift to help purchase it.  

After combining that with funds approved by the North Arkansas Baptist Association Foundation and the administrative team as well as insurance money, Graham said they walked into the new location essentially debt free.  

“This association has been dreaming about another property for years,” Graham said during a building dedication. “This is something we’ve dreamed up for a long time and God brought us here. That to me is just an amazing thing that God has continued to place that on the hearts of the men who have served in this role. And now we’re here and I get to be a part of watching it happen.”  

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The North Arkansas Baptist Association hosted a dedication for its new building on April 22. (Submitted)

Graham said Saturday was not about their administrative team, it was not about an anonymous donor, and it was not about who got to be sitting in office when this purchase took place.  

“Today, is about honoring God and what God has done. I want you to know that putting us in this building is not the finish line of what God is doing. This building is the starting point for what God has planned. He intends for us to do something with this place,” Graham said. “God didn’t give us this to show his appreciation for the association. He didn’t give us this to reward us for being faithful. He gave us this to reach people not just in Harrison but all over. I want to challenge you, whether you’re a church in Harrison or outside of Harrison, make use of what God has given to us because this belongs to you as well.”  

Graham had those in attendance Saturday take a few moments and give thanks to God for what He has done.  

The new North Arkansas Baptist Association building boasts a plethora of space, including a youth area. (Mary Alford/ABN)

“This is not dumb luck. It’s not just incredible timing. God is at work. This was God’s dream and vision … and we want to thank Him and look forward to what He is going to do with it,” Graham said.  

Also in attendance Saturday, April 22, at the building dedication was Dr. Rex Horne, interim executive director of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, and Dr. Bart Barber, president of the Southern Baptist Convention.  

“This is a big moment. Trust in God that He’s going to take this investment and use it to lift up preachers, deacons, members, Sunday school teachers, and who knows, maybe tomorrow’s president of the SBC,” Barber said.  

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