Because of a growing congregation, one local church is making a massive overhaul.
A $1 million renovation at Evangelical Free Church, 3111 S. Sixth St., will add youth classrooms and relocate the sanctuary.
Bob Kosbau, a pastor at the church, said the church's space can no longer comfortably accommodate his flock.
T-R PHOTO BY DAVID ALEXANDER
The 400-seat sanctuary at the Evangelical Free Church, 3111 S. Sixth St., shown here Thursday afternoon, will move to what is now a warehouse as part of a $1-million renovation. The church has already raised half the money for the project, which would add more than 200 seats to its worship hall. The project gets underway in early-to-mid July.
"We have a growing number of young families," he said.
To better serve those families, the church will more than double its amount of classrooms from five to 11. Both children's and adult classrooms will increase.
The expansion will turn what now is a warehouse into the new worship center, John Henze, facilities director for the church, said. It will seat 630 parishioners- an upgrade from the current sanctuary's 400.
Although Kosbau said the church usually only hosts roughly 300 parishioners each week, the extra space will help them be more comfortable. A large, open multi-purpose children's area will provide space for between 80 and 100 kids to enjoy puppet shows, singing and teaching.
One of the biggest differences church goers will notice, Henze said, is they will have to enter on the building's west side.
Kosbau said church staff has been considering the renovation for the last couple years. Charitable donations have already funded half its construction.
"We have been praying for many months for this," he said. "We are going to move forward and trust him to provide the remaining amount."
Kosbau said those involved at the church believe their partnerships within the community have prompted God to bestow the church with the means to do this construction.
Construction costs for the project are more than double what the Marshall County assessor values it at: just over $429,000.
"We have really made an effort to be involved in supporting and partnering with other local ministries," he said. "We believes we continue to seek God for his kingdom's work, that he will provide for our personal needs as we are being very intentional in our seeking to reach out to those around us."
Crews will begin work in early-to-mid July.
The church has been on Sixth Street for 10 years.