First Baptist Church of Bellevue will soon have a new outreach building to offer the Bellevue community. The North End, a former church and daycare center located directly across Main Street from Washington Park, will open its doors in January. FBC has been working on the building for the last couple of years. With a nearly finished project and an outlined vision for one demographic of Bellevue, The North End is something the church highly anticipates presenting to the village.

Luke Julian is the new youth pastor at FBC. After taking the position about six months ago, he joined the plans and vision for the outreach center with enthusiasm. Julian noted that the use of the building is still not set in stone. Its space could be utilized for a variety of purposes, but the church has done most of the planning and work with youth in mind.

“We know we want to use it to reach out to the junior and senior high kids,” said Julian. “Our hope is that this building will be used to offer kids something different, where they have a safe place to hangout, and they’re not going to be running around getting into trouble. They’ll have an alternative to go to.”

Members of the church who helped with the project commented to Julian that in their younger years it was always difficult to find things to do to stay out of trouble, and things haven’t changed much for teens now days. A place like The North End is a great opportunity for teens to have an after school outlet for being social and being safe.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from roughly 3 to 6 p.m., seventh through 12th grade students will be able to come and hang out, play games, study, practice music, and socialize in a safe environment. On Wednesdays from 6 to 8 p.m., the FBC youth group will also meet at the North End following the after school program. FBC also hopes to use the building for different seminars and events that will be helpful to the congregation and the community.

Funding for the building came from donations from the church, and the work was done an almost entirely volunteer basis from members of the church. With the exception of some jobs that had to be hired out, a member of the church who works in construction headed up most of the construction and remodeling. The building was completely stripped out, according Julian. Even the roof was redone. The whole process has been going on for about two years or more, and the building is finally getting its finishing touches.

Most of the heavy work is finished, according to Julian. There’s still some paint, and trim work to complete before The North End will open its doors, but the end is in sight. The FBC youth group will have its Christmas party in the building before its officially open in January.

“It’s a good opportunity to pour into the lives of kids and mentor them, and be there for them if they need it,” said Julian.

For more information on The North End, or how to get involved, readers are encouraged to call First Baptist Church of Bellevue at (269) 763-9247 and ask for Youth Pastor Luke Julian.