Born again

Marys­town’s Cal­vary Pen­te­costal Church re­open­ing for­mer bar as a com­mu­nity space

The Southern Gazette - - NEWS - Paul Her­ridge Pho­tos

vary Pen­te­costal Church has been do­ing over the past few years to reach into the town.

“We’ve been out in the com­mu­nity in a lot of dif­fer­ent ways. So this is just kind of a na­tional ex­pan­sion of what we’ve al­ready been do­ing, only now it gives us a more per­ma­nent pres­ence in the mid­dle of the com­mu­nity, which is kind of where we want to be.”

Pas­tor Simms said the church in Cre­ston North is more than ad­e­quate to serve its pur­pose, but given its out-of-the-way lo­ca­tion, it doesn’t fit as an eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble place where people in the com­mu­nity can go to so­cial­ize.

“We looked around and never re­ally saw any good pos­si­bil­i­ties. One day, just driv­ing down this street the ‘ For Sale’ sign just jumped in front of me.”

He said from there the process started, not­ing it be­gan as some­thing of a long shot with sev­eral hur­dles.

“I said, ‘If this is what we’re sup­posed to do, it’ll all work out.’ The build­ing was prac­ti­cally sold twice be­fore I got my hands on it. At the last sec­ond, it fell through. It came back to us, and we ended up able to pull off the pur­chase.”

Be­cause it was an un­usual ven- ture for a church, Pas­tor Simms in­di­cated he also had to sell the idea to an un­cer­tain con­gre­ga­tion, which he was able to do.

“If I re­mem­ber right, the con­gre­ga­tion vote was 100 per cent for us to go ahead and do this. It was a sig­nif­i­cant hur­dle that we had to over­come, but re­ally once we got mov­ing, there was noth­ing to it. People were over­whelm­ingly sup­port­ive and still are.”

The yet-to-be-named space at 38 Queen Street is quite large, with two lev­els and a deck over­look­ing Cre­ston Inlet, and will in­clude kitchen fa­cil­i­ties once ren­o­va­tions are com­plete. It will be dec­o­rated with leather couches and sev­eral large-screen LED tele­vi­sions will adorn the walls.

A cou­ple of left­over pool ta­bles from the pre­vi­ous owner will also be put back in use. Pas­tor Simms said cof­fee will be served up from be­hind the for­mer bars that once sold al­co­hol.

In ad­di­tion to the full- time youth and wor­ship pas­tor al­ready on staff, Cal­vary Pen­te­costal Church has also hired Jamie War­ren as pas­tor of mis­sion ini­tia­tives.

Sched­uled to ar­rive in Au­gust from Port aux Basques, where he has spent the last six years, Pas­tor War­ren will be heav­ily in­volved in the oper­a­tion of the site.

Pas­tor Simms, who said some pretty sig­nif­i­cant sac­ri­fices were made in or­der to add the new po­si­tion, said the Church is ex­cited to have Pas­tor War­ren on board.

“He’s a young guy like my­self. He’s a com­mu­nity-driven pas­tor. He just loves to be out there and be known, and he excels in that area. That was the rea­son why we wanted this guy here.

“We wanted a guy who would fit in this place like a hand in a glove, who’s just an easy-go­ing guy that people can get to know.”

Pas­tor Simms said com­mu­nity sup­port for the project, par­tic­u­larly from coun­cil, has been ex­cel­lent to date, and ren­o­va­tions are mov­ing along.

He said the goal is to open the build­ing up to the pub­lic by the end of April.

“It’ll be def­i­nitely unique com­pared to any­thing else in the com­mu­nity.”

pher­[email protected]­

The as-yet-to-be named com­mu­nity cen­tre on Queen Street in Marys­town was most re­cently a West Side Char­lies and be­fore that a med­i­cal clinic.

Cal­vary Pen­te­costal Church in Marys­town has bought the prop­erty at 38 Queen Street and is plans to turn the space into a com­mu­nity cen­tre. Lead Pas­tor Shane Simms said the goal is to open the doors by late April.

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