Tag Archives: construction

West Virginia Church Rises from the Ashes—Literally

Dedication service crowd fills the new sanctuary!

By Carl Stagner

It was nearing the middle of the night on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Instead of sleeping, several of the saints of Green Valley Church of God, in St. Albans, West Virginia, were wide awake. They’d gathered in the parking lot, gazing in horror as smoke and flame engulfed the place where they’d accepted Christ, got baptized, grew in their faith, and/or made lifelong friends. Thoughts raced through their minds: What’s next? How will this affect the ministry here? What in the world does God have in mind? In the trauma of the moment, God’s sovereign hand was hard to detect. But out of the bad, God was working for the good, ushering in a new beginning for Green Valley Church of God. Continue reading

God Breathes New Life into Host Church Ahead of Florida Regional

When renovation was underway in the sanctuary.

By Carl Stagner

It’s been noisy, a bit dusty, and very busy in the halls, offices, classrooms, and sanctuary at Bayside Community Church. The Safety Harbor congregation is experiencing a season of expansion and growth, not due to, but rather evidenced by, the upgrades happening throughout their facility. Not exhibiting an “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” mentality, the congregation is intentionally seeking debt reduction and giving a portion to missions, all the while improving the appearance and functionality of the space God’s entrusted to them. So, while they’re certainly making final preparations to welcome a cross-section of the Movement to their home (September 25–26), the enhanced worship and meeting environment is a byproduct of the new life God is breathing in their midst. Continue reading

Reclaiming Hope: Arizona Church Turns Old Jail into Children’s Ministry Wing

Down to the studs at Community of Hope!

By Carl Stagner

Rusty Akers couldn’t have known what the journey would entail, but no doubt he knew it would be the journey of a lifetime. Planting a church in the heart of one of the fastest-growing cities in the country had its strong points, but it wasn’t going to be easy. The hard work of holding services in an elementary school, the years of community involvement, and the faithful communication of the gospel has more than paid off in eternal rewards—souls won to Christ, believers baptized, lives transformed, and a community better for it. But more than one purchase of property since 2005 and a community far more transient than expected, resulting in frequent turnover of residents and congregational makeup, has proved grueling. Nonetheless, the opportunity seized recently by Community of Hope, a life-giving Church of God congregation in Maricopa, Arizona, is one with implications for both now and the future. By the end of the summer, they will have completely renovated a former jail, transforming it into the church’s new children’s ministry wing. Continue reading

A Good Problem to Have: Richland, WA Church Outgrows Current Facility

Construction in the lobby.

By Carl Stagner

In May 2013, we shared the story of a Church of God congregation in Richland, Washington, that tripled its attendance in just four years. The church understood then, as it does now, that God gives growth to his church, but there are a number of things local fellowships can do to attract the interest of the community, while supporting numbers with intentional discipleship and follow-up. For some, the question nearly five years ago might have been, Could such growth—both numerical and spiritual—be sustained? Apparently so. We’ve followed up with Columbia Community Church—locally known as C3—and have discovered they recently encountered a big problem. Their current facility—particularly their lobby and restrooms—are too small for their weekend crowds. Continue reading

Renovation for a Church, Renewal for Far Rockaway

Pastor Arthur Davenport speaks at the building dedication.

By Emily Ploetz

On Sunday morning, October 8, worship filled the room in the First Church of God of Far Rockaway, New York. The service was unlike any typical Sunday morning gathering for a very special reason, six months in the making! Far Rockaway had been under a full-scale renovation for half a year and, after everything had been completed, Pastor Arthur Davenport invited the congregation to join in a procession of prayer and worship. There was much rejoicing at this celebration because everyone there knew that God had blessed them in so many ways. Continue reading

Church Steps Out in Faith for the Children, Teens of Atwater, California

Some of the youth group of First Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

Take a look at 2100 Fruitland Ave, Atwater, California, on Google Maps. What you’ll find is that First Church of God is literally a stone’s throw away from Atwater High School. The front-row seat the California congregation has to roughly 1,800 students and their families is certainly incredible, but the church hasn’t sat down to enjoy the scenery. They’ve seized a number of opportunities God has presented them to minister to these teens and their families. What’s more, through their preschool established in 1964, they minister to children who one day accept their diplomas right across the street. Recently the church stepped out in faith to expand the preschool facility, as teachers reap the benefits of a Fruitland Christian School early education, and as parents on a waiting list eagerly knock on the door. Continue reading

South Korean Chooses Generosity Over Knee Surgery

Photo: Pastor Moon and his wife with Bokja Lee (center).

By Carl Stagner

If you’ve ever stood in need of knee surgery, you know the kind of pain she was in. She’d saved approximately $17,000 (US) and used it all. Every last penny. Today she’s still in tremendous pain, but not because the surgery was unsuccessful or because she’s on a long road to recovery. She decided to forego the operation, but not because it was too risky or because she got cold feet. Instead of using the money for herself, she was impressed by the Spirit to give it all away. Bokja Lee chose to support a building project in the Philippines over paying for knee surgery, and she puts up with the constant reminder every day. This is the story of her radical generosity. Continue reading

Combined Efforts Lead Egypt Church Out from Under Rickety Rooftop

old_eldara_egypt_inside_forweb

Photo: The El Dara congregation crowded into their old building.

By Carl Stagner

Things are changing for the better in Egypt. Recent legislation has relaxed laws that formerly constricted the ability of churches to build or renovate. The only legal religions in Egypt—Islam, Judaism, and Christianity—maintain a unique coexistence, even as only 10 percent of the country profess Christ. Intending to promote peace among all three, the government made a practice of assessing the majority population in the area surrounding a building project of a religious entity—would such a building bring conflict or disrupt the peace in any way? Now that regulative barriers have been removed, the Church of God in Egypt is hopeful that much-needed renovation can take place with several church facilities, and that multiplication can take place with future church planting. Continue reading

Movement-wide Generosity Brings More Help, More Hope to the Shelter

Shelter_CuttackIndia_generations_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Thank you, Church of God. Your generous support of CHOG TraffickLight is not only rescuing women and children from the horrors of human trafficking, but is also preventing trafficking from happening in the first place. You’ve heard the stories of how the Shelter in Cuttack, India, has nurtured, protected, and discipled girls with otherwise uncertain futures. No one will ever know for sure where each girl would be today had they not found refuge and unconditional love at the Shelter, but one thing is certain: these girls did not end up as victims of human trafficking. Thanks to your support, the Shelter is now celebrating major improvements designed to enhance security, bless the girls with better living conditions and, as capacity increases, welcome more girls. Continue reading

Building Hope: Constructing Homes for Poor Gives Church Heaven’s Perspective

Thursday_church_localhome_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

They raise the funds themselves. Then they go out and build a house. They give the home to a needy family, debt-free. Then they do it again. Their work touches the lives of families in Guatemala, Mexico, and soon in the Dominican Republic and the United States. The first time Thursday Church of Vincennes, Indiana, built one of these homes, the new homeowners weren’t the only ones blessed. Since that day, Thursday Church has never been the same. Continue reading

Foundational Issues: Structural Woes Become Wins in Kansas

Lighthouse_Church_Neodesha_KS_construction_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

It may be your church board’s worst nightmare. Just when you least expect it, just when the finances can’t handle any more pressure, the bottom falls out. Often it’s a problem with the church building or property that needs attention, and such was the case for Lighthouse Community Church of God in Neodesha, Kansas, earlier this year. One problem appeared to lead to the next, until God made it clear that he is still in control. The very structural headaches that seemed only to worsen were actually blessings in disguise. Continue reading

WV Church’s Dream a Step Closer to Reality

TeaysValleyCHOG_FutureGraphic_FORWEB

On Sunday, April 6, at 2:00 PM, Teays Valley Church of God in Scott Depot, West Virginia, will be one step closer to seeing their dream of a new community center realized. The church will break ground to develop the seventy-four acres of property they own, known as Teays Valley Acres. The fast-growing church has plans to develop the seventy-four acres into a recreation park, conference site, and community center. “God has given us a vision to serve our community by meeting the needs of the whole person,” said Dr. Melissa Pratt, the church’s pastor. “This is the first step in a multiphase plan to create a space that is open for our community to use every day of the week.” Continue reading