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Church in Black Forest opens its “treehouse” for kids

Four years ago, First Baptist Church Black Forest envisioned a building just for children. On March 19, the church celebrated the completion of the building, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and plenty of fanfare.It took just six months from the groundbreaking to the buildout ó the opening is a few months away from the churchís 50 anniversary in June.ìBack when we first opened in the ë80s, we served maybe 10 to 20 families every week. There were talks about possibly closing our doors,î said Family Pastor Breck Merkle, who came to the church a little over a year ago.Today, he said, FBCBF has 1,100 members – half are under the age of 21. Recently, Merkle said the church welcomed 11 new junior members in just one day.ìWe are a rapidly growing church. Itís really great to see how the Lord has worked, and how he has blessed us,î he said. ìThis building really came to be based on our need.îThe building is aptly named the Treehouse Childrenís Center for its playful treehouse design ó inspired by the Biblical story of Zaccheus, who climbed a sycamore fig tree to see Jesus. The center is a one-story, 10,368-square foot building that connects the churchís main sanctuary with its student ministry building.A playground area and cafÈ are among its features, along with a check-in counter, a freestanding classroom, a kitchen and a large assembly room that can easily be divided into four classrooms; with sound-proof partitions.First Baptist Church was able to construct the new building debt-free, thanks to a capital campaign.One month before breaking ground on the project, the church also paid off its mortgage on the main sanctuary, which allowed them to procure a loan for the new building through the Baptist Foundation of Oklahoma, Merkle said.ìItís been amazing to see Godís work,î he said.To design and build the structure, FBCBF called on Worlds of Wow, a comprehensive design firm that assists in creative services to help its clients nationwide bring their facilities to life.ìWe wanted to be sure that the Treehouse Childrenís Center is a place for our children to be excited to come and be a part of what God is doing at FBC,î Merkle said. ìWorlds of Wow has really captured the vision and made this an immersive place for our children.îThe vision is evident in the Treehouseís motto, featured on a playful mural near the check-in counter: ìKids who love meeting with Jesus, growing in Jesus, and going in Jesusí name.îMerkle said, although the building is part of the church, it can serve the community as well.ìItís been a vision of mine that the children of Black Forest or even Colorado Springs can utilize this space, and we can provide for their needs,î he said. ìThis building means that we are able to bless our local families with a safe, fun environment for their children to learn and have fun. We pray that instead of mom and dad convincing the kids to come to church, itís the kids who drag mom and dad to church, if that makes sense.îThe church, which is located at 10915 Black Forest Road, also has the facilities and ability to continue to be ìa big baseî for residents and organizations in the area, he said.In addition to the new building, the church is undergoing other renovations in its main sanctuary, including new carpet, new wood flooring and fresh paint.For more information on church services or ministries, visit

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