ST. MARYS — A local church gave thanks Sunday morning in celebration of finding a permanent home.
New Community Church, now located at 1025 Greenville Road, St. Marys, recently opened its doors in a new location after 11 years without a permanent building.
“We’ve come a long way,” the Rev. Tom Schwind said to the congregation at Sunday morning’s open house. “We’ve stood together, we’ve worshiped together and now we’re ready to go out (to the community).”
The church has spent the past 11 years renting space for its gatherings, and Schwind said the church used its open house Sunday to give thanks for its permanent home.
“Today (Sunday) is a celebration to thank God for a new home,” he said. “It’s a day to thank God.”
He noted that the church’s building committee came to a unanimous decision on the facility after discussing several options.
“There wasn’t one person that didn’t want to come here,” he said. “That showed us God really wanted us here.”
The church is located on 11 acres and features a nursery, a children’s room, a teen room, areas for youth and children’s Bible quizzing and a junior high and high school area in addition to the a remolded sanctuary. The facility was previously home to a Presbyterian church.
“This was a Presbyterian church before, and we want to keep their vision to grow and reach people,” Schwind said. “They closed doors a few years ago and we want to keep their mission to be a lighthouse to the community.”
He noted that the congregation has worked to remodel the church’s sanctuary to fit its needs. Televisions and a sound booth were added, while pews and an organ were taken out to fit the church’s contemporary congregation.
“We made it our own,” Schwind said of the changes.
He said the congregation has been crucial in preparing the church to open.
“The congregation has been incredible in getting the church how it needs to be,” Schwind said, noting that many members of the congregation spent several hours helping. “I never expected that.”
Leadership Council Chair Larry Stanfield also applauded the work of the congregation.
“There is no doubt in my mind that God’s handprint is on everything you (the congregation) have done,” he said. “The transformation of this building is nothing short of amazing.”
Now that New Community Church has a permanent home, East Central District Director of District Ministries Jeff Gerig challenged members to get out into the community.
“This is a permanent home that you can now use as a launching pad to the community,” he said.
Leadership Council Secretary Tamar Ellis said she is looking forward to seeing where God takes the church next.
“I believe very strongly that God has huge plans for New Community Church,” she said. “We’ve come a long way.”
Stanfield also commented on getting out into the community.
“All of the stuff God has given us, we’re going to give out to the community in one way or another,” he said.
Schwind said the church’s theme of thanking God for its open house is encompassed in a Bible verse.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen,” Ephesians chapter 3, verses 20 and 21 reads.
New Community Church holds services at 10 a.m. Sundays and at 7 p.m. Wednesdays, with children and youth quizzing at 6 p.m. Wednesdays.
For more information, call 419-394-8111 or visit NewCommunityChurchStM.com.