AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- It’s the first Sunday on the first day of the new year and some people tell NewsChannel 6 there was no better way to start the year than at church.  

“It’s a tradition that we sing and pray and bless God coming into the new year,” Tabernacle Baptist Church Servant and Member Minister Hennison Gibbs Jr. said.

Entering a new year, for some, is a time of reflection on what the previous year brought. And several people took the time to do just that at The Historic Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta.  

“Coming to church actually made me feel more liberated to do things that I didn’t get to do last year,” Tabernacle Baptist Church Member Keba Dunkin said.

And after Sunday’s service, Keba Dunkin is ready for the year ahead.

“My expectations and my goals. I didn’t reach where I wanted to reach last year, and this year with the sermon, I have the confidence now to do what I want to do,” Dunkin said.

Minister Gibbs has been a part of Tabernacle Baptist Church for 16 years.

“And this church was the hub that housed us. That we could run to for safety, and we can run to for His protection and that’s why Tabernacle is so important,” Gibbs said.

And not only does coming to church Sunday morning mean a fresh start for Dunkin, it also is her home away from home.

“When I moved here in 2012, I didn’t have any family or any friends– and I’m from the Virgin Islands, I’m an island woman– and I’ve been looking for a church that actually would help me connect more with God. So, yes, this is my number one church,” Dunkin said.