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Date of Issue: March 22, 2007

Baptist church marks 20 years, name change

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Celebrating 20 years, new fellowship
Island Baptist Church celebrated the 20th anniversary of its sanctuary and began a new chapter in history with the official name change to Crosspointe Felloship Sunday, March 18. The Rev. Dale Lawson and his wife, Irene, took a moment to pose with the church's new sign. Islander Photo: Nancy Ambrose

The Baptist church on the Island showcased the old and the new during services March 18.

The church celebrated its 20th year in the sanctuary at 8605 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria.

 The church also officially announced a name change - from Island Baptist Church to Crosspointe Fellowship.

The new name has been in circulation for several weeks - mentioned at a public meeting in Holmes Beach and displayed to motorists one morning when a "Crosspointe Fellowship" sign prematurely went up outside the church, then quickly came down.

The new name reflects the church's effort to establish a second campus in Parrish and possibly additional campuses in the future.

"It is logical to have a name that can be used in multiple locations," the church said in a statement released March 14. "Additionally, the visitors here on the Island and those in the Parrish area are from a wide range of backgrounds. We believe Crosspointe Fellowship will provide a warm welcome no matter the individual's background.

"As all of us on the islands are aware, there are some radical changes taking place," the statement continued. "Demographically, many of the year 'round residents have been forced off the islands because of escalating prices, insurance and taxes. As a result, churches on barrier islands are seeing their core memberships decline as fewer residents are staying year 'round."

While work takes place to establish the Parrish campus and build membership on the mainland, Crosspointe Fellowship will continue to serve Islanders, seasonal visitors and vacationers at the Gulf Drive location.

The church also will continue with its current structure, doctrinal views and denominational affiliations with the Manatee Baptist Association, the Florida Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.