Beltway Park Baptist Church has broken ground on a new satellite campus just blocks from ACU.
Construction workers are clearing the land and preparing to lay a foundation for the new Beltway Park North Campus northeast of Walmart on Highway 351. The Beltway congregation voted unanimously to create the new campus in mid-November after the elders presented a plan.
“We’re excited to be closer to that area of town and be a part of what God’s doing over in the northern part of the community,” said lead pastor David McQueen.
McQueen said that the church wanted to reach a broader community. The church in south Abilene already attracts a significant number of ACU students.
“We feel like it’s a tool God wants us to use to touch the northern part of Abilene,” he said. “That includes students from ACU and Hardin-Simmons, but it’s not exclusive to those communities.”
Joel Edwards, sophomore musical theater major from Tyler, said he thinks the new campus will draw in a lot of ACU students.
“In my experience, Beltway is usually the first church freshmen hear about that isn’t Church of Christ,” he said. “Having a much closer campus will mean that many more incoming freshmen who would’ve slept through church won’t mind getting up and making the five-minute drive to Beltway North.”
Edwards said the new location should attract students from Hardin-Simmons University, families north of First Street and even residents of Clyde.
Edwards said he attends Beltway as often as possible, but the distance from campus can be a problem for him.
“Many students don’t want to get up an extra 20 minutes early on their weekend to drive south of Abilene,” Edwards said. “Having 20 more minutes to sleep would definitely allow me to get up and go.”
Although the north campus will have its own full-time pastor, sermons will be presented through video-sharing technology from the south campus.
“We feel like that’s how we’re supposed to present the message,” McQueen said. “Whoever is teaching at the south campus will also be teaching there.”
McQueen said construction could take 10 to 14 months. According to Beltway’s website, the north campus will cost about $8 million.
Interested students can find out more at beltway.org/go.
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