Avon Community Church Plans To Begin Using New Facility In Time For Christmas

By: Scott Noble 0 Comments   12/7/2012

AVON— When Avon Community Church’s building was constructed, members didn’t want to go into debt. The new congregation was planted from an existing church in Holdingford. So to avoid going into debt, they built what they could afford.

That meant no Sunday school rooms and all of the church’s young people had to gather together in the fellowship hall.

Now the nondenominational evangelical congregation, which is affiliated with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, is on the verge of completing phase two of its expansion project.

“Construction started probably two years ago, but we had a building fund in place for anywhere between fournd-half and fivend-half years,” said the Rev. Dr. Chuck Pelkey, senior pastor of Avon Community Church. “So what we determined after chatting with the congregation and stuff, we just wanted to try and find what our biggest needs were.”

Determining those needs was easy: Christian education space.

“That’s what started the whole construction process,” Pelkey continued. “We broke ground and put up seven designated classrooms on the northeast side of our building. Along with that process, we expanded our fellowship hall as well. [That] gave us more room that we would use for our community dinners and things like that that we would like to do as outreach opportunities.”

The first phase also included adding an administrative wing, which allowed staff members’ offices to be located in the same hallway.

Now Avon Community is poised to see the completion of phase two: a new foyer and sanctuary, which will seat approximately 380 people. The process is about three-fourths complete, and Pelkey hopes everything will be done by December 16.

- back of sanctuary and entry way

- front of sanctary

Regarding the foyer, “We opened it up, and we just made a big open area,” he said. “We wanted our foyer and our gathering area to just be very much a place where you could sit and [talk and fellowship with one another].”

Building on to a church can sometimes create the impression that a congregation is interested only in facilities and not in the people it potentially serves.

Pelkey wants to make sure the community realizes that perception isn’t true of Avon Community Church.

“We want the church family as well as the community around us to see that, yes, we may be putting money into a facility, but we’re utilizing the facility as an opportunity for having dinners for those that just need a hot meal,” he said. “We’re trying to open it up to where it’s truly community focused but community focused with a purpose.”

Already, community groups have started meeting in the church, including the Women of Today group and the local Boy Scouts.

Pelkey said there is a lot of hurt in the community right now, including people struggling financially. The new facility with further allow the congregation to help meet those needs in the community.

“There are a lot of wonderful people in the church family that are just on fire for the Lord and trying to … just live that out,” Pelkey said. “We’re the church, the people are the church. And we want to express that … when we’re at the grocery store, wherever we are. We just want to put ourselves in the position where we’re loving people as Jesus loved people.”

For more information about Avon Community Church, including worship times, visit www.avoncommunitychurch.org or call (320) 356-9001. The church is located at 204 Avon Avenue North in Avon.


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