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