By Susan Shinn Turner
Two years after its opening, the Faith Center continues to exceed expectations, serving the congregation and the community.
“Every time I go in there, to this day, it just astonishes me,” says Mark Lewis, chair of the G2G steering committee. “It has more than fulfilled its original promise.”
On average, the building hosts 64 to 83 events each month, according to Ruth Ann Diehl, business manager. In 2015, contemporary worship had an average attendance of 124. In 2017, that number has grown to 190 for the 9:27 service.
Krista Woolly has hosted several community events there in her role as executive director of the Community Care Clinic. The Faith Center played host to the clinic’s 20th anniversary celebration, and was the site for filming a video shown at the event. A community health summit — with plenty of room for breakout sessions — also took place in this building.
“It’s an amazing space for conferences with its breakout rooms, natural light, and coffee bar,” Krista says. “It’s the best space in town. You’re in a space that’s multipurpose. It’s a worship space, but we’ve also had VBS there. We watched the World Championship Softball game there, and had a blast. It works for everything.”
In fact, VBS was the first event that took place in the new building in August 2015, even before it was dedicated in mid-September.
“When we were in the old space, we could only accommodate 120 children,” says Kimberly Lentz, who co-chairs VBS with Melissa Rhyne. “We went from that to 250 that first year. We had the first 9:27 service in the Faith Center the day before VBS. We had to use the screen and the sound system without ever practicing with it. It was crazy! We had all these kids signed up, and we went on faith. It worked out. God just took care of it.”
This year, Kim says, VBS had 273 children registered throughout the week, with 70 volunteers. “We have had families from VBS attending worship services. There’s no doubt it’s a valuable outreach tool.”
Courtney Bost, director of the Child Development Center, says that children and staff alike were thrilled to attend VBS once the new space was available.
“It has been very fun,” she says. “The children came back every day talking about what they learned. It gave our teachers a break from the normal routine. The students and staff seemed to enjoy it a lot.”
From plays and concerts to community meetings, from VBS to worship, the space is being used, Mark says. “When you look at our new membership and new ministries, it’s no surprise about the numbers when you have a building that beautiful to do ministry in. Many Sundays, it’s jam packed. I only see more utilization out of it.”