Some churches want their sanctuaries to be cathedrals. A church here had a better idea.
Located about an hour's drive northwest of Orlando on a main street that also boasts a McDonald's, Subway and Ace Hardware, the First Baptist Church of Leesburg (pop. 15,596) sports a standard denominational look: columned portico, steeple and lots of people -- an average attendance of 2,200 during the winter and 1,400 during the summer.
By the early 1990s, some church members wanted to build a larger sanctuary so the church would not need two (now three) worship services on Sunday morning. Senior pastor Charles Roesel, though, insisted that the church should spend the money on building a Ministry Village with homes for abused children, battered women and men who wanted to turn their lives around, along with a free medical clinic and other facilities to help the needy.
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