- (Photo: First Baptist Church of Dallas)
A Texas megachurch will soon be opening up a new 500,000 square-foot campus for its congregation to worship.
First Baptist Church of Dallas, which is headed by Dr. Robert Jeffress, will open the campus located in Downtown Dallas on Sunday.
In a statement released back in February, Jeffress explained that the main purpose of the new campus was to reach out to areas usually untouched by the megachurch movement.
"At a time when suburban megachurches are the norm and research shows that many people no longer feel the Church is relevant, First Baptist is committed to the Bible and to downtown Dallas," said Jeffress.
"People are hungry not for religion but for the Word of God. First Baptist Dallas is built on the Bible, and because of that we are growing."
According to First Baptist of Dallas' website, the "state-of-the-art" campus building will have a 3,000 seat worship center with a 150-foot wide viewing screen. The facility also has several youth and children's classrooms, a gymnasium, and a seven-story parking garage.
The Rev. Joseph J. Clifford, pastor and head of staff at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, told The Christian Post that he was welcoming of the new campus' presence in the city.
"We wish the saints of First Baptist Church the very best as they open their new facility," said Clifford. "We pray God's blessings upon them in their service to the Crucified and Risen Christ as together we witness to God's beloved community of justice, mercy and love."
News of the campus' opening comes as Jeffress found himself debating Bill O'Reilly over the nature of the Bible in general and the Old Testament in particular.
Earlier this month, Jeffress and O'Reilly debated on the Fox News program "The O'Reilly Factor" whether or not certain events described in the Bible should be taken literally or allegorically.
While a self-described "traditionalist" and professed Christian, O'Reilly has often stated on "The Factor" that the Bible has plenty of allegorical stories and is not meant to be taken as history or over modern science.
"Here's the problem, Bill," Jeffress said to O'Reilly. "If you start labeling these stories as fictitious or fable, where do you stop? It's like peeling the layers of an onion, you end up with nothing."