The Columbia Church family celebrated another milestone last February in “finding more space.” Pastor Hiram Rester, members of the Building Committee, and leadership from the Iowa-Missouri Conference broke ground for an addition to the church building. As shovels of sod and soil moved, there were cheers of praise from members including 7th and 8th grade students from College Park Christian Academy. A reception of tasty and beautifully displayed treats followed in the church basement.
“Space challenges,” “space allocation,” “space limitations,” “multi-use,” “crowded” or other varied phrases have been common for a while in discussions when the Church Board determines use of church facilities. It is a good problem to experience. Currently there is a Swahili speaking group, a Spanish speaking group, and an English speaking group meeting at the same time Sabbath mornings to worship in different parts of the church-school campus. Sabbath school classes, fellowship meals, and Mid-week Refresh classes have found it necessary to move locations as needs change.
A renewed desire to find a solution to the need for space to use in ministering to the members and community has kept the Building Committee working. The architect completed drawings for a two-story edition that moves a prominent main entrance of the church to what is currently closest to the parking area. This is where most people who attend enter the building. The plans also increase the sanctuary setting by 60 seats to 299, reverses the front of the sanctuary to what is now the back, includes a spacious foyer, additional classrooms, and elevator access for those who find steps a barrier. The city approved the architect plans and the church in business meeting voted to proceed with building the addition.
The gifts for the addition have demonstrated support for the project. It was announced during the groundbreaking service that over $750,000 is currently on hand for the project. This support of the Columbia Church has been a blessing to the congregation at each phase of the church development. Truly it is heartening to see “what God has done.”
Dora Hallock is communication leader for the Columbia Church in Missouri.