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Historic Black Waco congregation, growing Hispanic church swap buildings

God sometimes opens a window after closing a door, the adage goes. But in the case of two Waco churches, it’s more of a case of windows, doors and a whole building.

First Baptist Church of Waco N.B.C. is a historically Black congregation that has worshipped together the past 94 years in a building on the edge of downtown at 611 Jefferson Ave. Templo Nueva Vida is a younger, mostly Hispanic congregation that met at 3300 N. 22nd St.

Now they are trading spaces for futures more aligned with their congregations’ needs.

For Templo Nueva Vida, it’s a swap that means more space for a growing Spanish-speaking congregation. It is trading up to a building with two stories and a basement, complete with a sanctuary, dining space and classrooms, plus parking.

First Baptist Church gets a single-floor facility that is easier to maintain and easier for the church’s older members to navigate ...