In the early part of 1990, while searching for a new minister, many had the opportunity to bring lessons and preach to the congregation. Through these lessons, it was obvius that the newly appointed Elders, as well as many of Southwest’s members were solidly grounded in, and possessed a true love for, the Word of God. After much prayerful deliberation, in June 1990. Jim Mitchell was hired as minister and he and his family began their work at Southwest. In December 1990, Deacons were appointed and average attendance, in the low 90′s, had rebounded to 1988 levels.With strong dedication and devotion. Southwest initiated a number of -programs in the early 1990′s. These programs were focused on fellowship and visitation and served as huge assets to the congregation and community throughout the decade. These initiatives, coupled with a continuous emphasis on study of the Word, worship and spiritual development, served to drive overage attendance to over 100, with a record attendance of 152, in 1992. More important than the numerical growth, this combination of programs, the emphasis on study & worship and the caring and loving hearts of the members at Southwest were serving to drive the spiritual growth of more and more of God’s children.In April 1993, Deacons were added to better address the growing needs of the congregation. Also in 1993, to obtain a more favorable interest rate, the building loan was refinanced. This placed the congregation on a much more secure financial footing; and the building was renovated in 1995, as the congregation’s growth continued.We experienced another eventful and joyous year for Southwest in 1996, with one new Elder and several Deacons appointed in August. Through sound fiscal management practices by the congregation’s leadership since the difficult times of 1989, the financial support, which had been so graciously and continuously provided by Jackson Heights, was no longer needed by the end of 1997. Growth continued at a steady pace throughout the latter part of the decade, with average weekly attendance at: 112 in ’96, 120 in ’97, 121 in ’98 and 140 in ’99.By the end of 1999, the auditorium was seeing record attendance days strain its 180-seat capacity; and the leadership began exploring ways to expand the facility. After researching onsite expansion possibilities, and finding that due to setback minimums and easements the building could not be expanded on the existing property, the leadership started actively and prayerfully pursuing the purchase of 2.3 acres adjacent to the Church property. This pursuit would carry over well into 2000.
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