METROPOLIS, IL (KFVS) - When it comes to faith and a willingness to work together, three churches in Metropolis are setting a new standard on how do it.
"The churches are coming together. And I've never seen anything like this in my 25 years of ministry," said Brian Anderson pastor at Eastland Baptist Church in Metropolis.
And he's not alone in his thoughts about what is happening between his church, the First Baptist Church and Ohio Valley Baptist Church.
This past year the congregation at First Baptist Church built a new church north of town. That left them with their church location downtown, and a decision about what to do with it.
"This is a much beloved building," said Joe Buchanan senior pastor at First Baptist Church. "There are people who were born here. They've raised their children and grandchildren here. We have several families that are three and four generations."
But, the new congregation had out grown the old building. So the church tried to sell it.
"You build a church for worship. You build a church for a very particular type of ministry. And not many other businesses or groups need a facility quite like we have here," said Pastor Buchanan.
And that's where the Eastland Baptist Church comes into the picture. They too have out grown their four walls.
"It seemed like God just kind of put it in their heart that they didn't feel like they were able to sell the building," said Brian Anderson pastor at Eastland Baptist Church. "And they were thinking what can we do that would be a blessing to somebody. Or get some good out of this?"
Well the two pastors had formed a fellowship during the Flood of 2011. That's when the First Baptist Church opened it's doors to the congregation at Eastland Baptist Church. They were unable to get to their building because of the flood waters.
"We couldn't meet on a particular Sunday," said Pastor Anderson.
So now First Baptist Church is going to give Eastland Baptist Church their old building so their church can continue to grow.
That left Eastland Baptist Church with a decision about what they'll do with their old building once they move into the old First Baptist Church.
In steps the third church into this 3-way church swapping story.
The congregation at Ohio Valley Baptist Church is also larger then it's current building can handle.
So once Eastland Baptist moves to the old First Baptist building, the Ohio Valley congregation will move into the old Eastland church.
"The best way I can sum up is a verse in Psalms 118 verse 23, where the Bible says this is the Lord's doing. It is marvelous in our eyes. And that's really the only way we can sum up what's happening how god has worked for us," said Bryan Braden pastor at Ohio Valley Baptist Church.
And once Ohio Valley Baptist Church moves into the old Eastland Baptist Church building, then First Baptist Church will take over the old building and property where the Ohio Valley Baptist Church is located.