I was eight years old when I first stepped foot into the sanctuary at First Baptist Jackson. My parents had moved to Jackson from Meridian and were looking for a church home. I remember being intimidated by not only the sheer size of this auditorium but also the solemn architectural features: the pointed arch, rib vault, and large stained glass window. I would later learn these features embodied the gothic style, a style the congregation voted in favor of 142 to 35 over a classical design in 1923 when the first building was planned on this site.

While the architecture was striking the feeling of the room was warm. The smiles and down–to–earth nature of the members made us realize we had found a home. Frank Pollard had a humble demeanor and a powerful oratory style that pontificated the gospel in a manner that spoke straight to our hearts. He revealed truths about God’s heart that made us as a congregation different on Monday through Saturday. It was in the pews of this grand auditorium I’ve seen revivals preached; youth gather from all over the state; marriage vows made; sins confessed; lives reinvigorated for the gospel; lives mourned at death, and souls saved for eternity.

Young, old, happy, sad, strong, weary, we all gather here. We come here because we realize the world is broken. Its tempting nature will never satisfy us but continue to wound us. So it’s in this room we learn to get back up. We assist one another in putting on the armor of God to continue the fight for the Kingdom. This world is not our home. And in this sanctuary, we are reminded that we have hope. We serve a real King. A risen Savior indeed!

Graham Calvert