The Miracle of Fairview
at River Club
Fairview at River Club is a miracle. Fairview Baptist Church was a growing downtown Fredericksburg church feeling the constraints of limited space and parking. The members knew some form of expansion was needed but enlarging the existing building was not an option. The members voted to seek land on which to build a multi-purpose facility or Family Life Center to help meet the needs of an increasing congregation. Two major hurdles existed: finding affordable land on which to build, and the resources needed to even begin such a project. But God was just getting started.
The Miracle Unfolds
Rev. Bob Sizemore prophetically announced to the congregation that if God wanted this expansion to become a reality that someone would actually donate the land. Fairview began to pray that God would lay this need on someone's heart to donate land for this purpose. The church's prayers were answered when Tricord Companies donated five acres in the River Club area just south of Fredericksburg. Along with Tricord's gift came the stipulation that Sunday Services must be held on the site. Fairview was now looking at becoming a dual-site church, and not just constructing a multi-purpose facility to serve their own needs. Now faced with the reality of huge construction costs, the project was almost out of reach, but God was just getting started. Lucy Hearn, a former Fredericksburg resident and church member, left half of her multi-million dollar estate to Fairview Baptist Church. But nobody could remember Lucy Hearn. A legal secretary from Baltimore, she gave her gift to a church she had not attended in more than 70 years. "We were shocked" Sizemore told the Free Lance Star in August 2003. God is still in the miracle business.
The missing piece of the puzzle was the pastor for the new site. Rev. Sizemore knew that strong leadership was critical in making this new site successful, so he began conversations with Rev. Dee Whitten, a former pastor of Mt. Ararat in Stafford, and current Team Leader with the Virginia Baptist Mission Board. Rev. Whitten worked with Baptist churches statewide to help them grow and connect with people in today's culture. After nearly a year of careful consideration and prayer, Rev. Whitten felt God's strong calling to lead the effort at the new site and joined Fairview full-time in the fall of 2007.
Two Sites: One Message
Fairview is now a multi-site church, and a unique one. Most multi-site churches copy themselves at each site; they are in essence a franchise model. Fairview is different. Fairview at Charlotte Street, is a traditional Baptist Church, while Fairview at River Club is a contemporary facility, with contemporary praise and worship music. The common message is that God, the creator of the universe, loves you and wants to have a personal relationship with you. God is just getting started with Fairview, and we can't wait to see what other miracles He has planned.