Streets close around downtown church, leaders plan for Sunday se - WSMV News 4

Streets close around downtown church, leaders plan for Sunday service

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The pastor of Nashville First Baptist just learned Thursday morning that their front entrance would be a front row seat to a CMA Music Festival stage and the roads will be blocked.

"Well, the watch party is moving from 5th Avenue and Broadway to 7th Avenue and Broadway, which is our front door, and so that means we need to communicate with our members the best traffic route for them to take on Sunday morning to arrive at church or Bible study," said senior pastor Dr. Frank Lewis.

Event organizers announced Broadway will be closed from 4th Avenue to 7th Avenue until Monday at 6 a.m. The road blocks are already in place.

"It's a little inconvenient when you've got traffic delays and things like that, but we love being right here in the heart in the thriving city," Lewis said.

The nearly 200-year-old church made the decision years ago not to relocate from downtown, they've grown accustomed to the change and growth.

And now they're just excited their next door neighbors are doing well.

"When the Predators made it this far we could not wait to get a banner on the side of our building just to wish them luck," Lewis said. "I think it says something like, it's easier to love your neighbors when you live in Smashville and that's exactly how our church feels."

One perk of the Preds' success is ownership over prime parking spots. The church leases its lots to Premier Parking. The two have partnered to offer $10 discounted rates for the events. Everyone who parks in First Baptist Church lots will also be helping fund the church's missionary work.

"We have a school in Haiti started by some of our church members, and almost every year our high school seniors go on a senior mission trip to Haiti for that experience. They will be working with the children there doing Bible stories and vacation Bible schools," Lewis said.

The proceeds from the parking revenue go to the church's missionary fund.

The church leaders are working closely with city officials to determine the best alternate routes for its 1,100 member congregation. It plans to announce the suggested routes and street closures to its members.

"We get the privilege of being right in the very middle of all of this excitement, and it's a great place to do the work that God's called us to do," Lewis said. 

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