New Life planning for new home
HEBRON – It has to be a God thing. “Our goal is not just to build a church, but to see God’s action throughout the process,” said Hebron New Life United Methodist Church Pastor Brian Harkness. “We need miraculous help to make this happen.”
He said the church is amidst a capital campaign to raise money to build a new 11,000 square feet, $850,000 facility on four acres near the Lake Drive and US 40 intersection. Harkness said the church’s goal is to gather enough pledges by March 14 to garner $500,000 over the next three years.
Harness said some members of the congregation are making lifestyle changes, such as eating out less, giving up smoking, and so forth, to be able to contribute. Any amount will help. “It’s equal sacrifice, not equal gifts,” he said.
The church has experienced plenty of change recently. “We’ve had a lot of moving going on,” said Harkness. The food pantry recently moved from its former location in the old Bowman Chevrolet dealership to the strip mall directly across US 40 and the community center moved to the existing Hebron United Methodist Church on East Main Street from the old dealership following last year’s March 15 flash flood. Changes will continue, he said, as JBA Architects designs the new church. “They’ve been superior to work with--very good to us,” he said.
If all goes as planned, “We would love to see a groundbreaking within this year,” said Harkness. “We’re going to keep praying that it can be possible.” Currently, he isn’t sure of the existing church’s fate following the move to the new facility. Harkness said it may become an outreach site, but time will tell. The existing church was built in 1903. “It’s a had a great impact on the community,” he said. “They set the stage for what we need to do today.”
Harkness said the congregation is very supportive of the move, even those members who have attended the existing church their entire lives. “They’re real troopers. Some of them are a generation in this church,” he said. “I’m amazed to see how the older folks are on board. It’s been so encouraging.” The plan is to incorporate a couple of the existing church’s beautiful stained glass windows in the new structure.
The new church, in addition to being new and larger than the existing church, will have many advantages, said Harkness. It will all be on one level, including the restrooms, which is not the case in the existing church, and the new structure will have a large multi-purpose room that will be available to the community. “Hopefully, it will be used seven days a week,” he said. “We are a church in the community, for the community.”
Harkness said the best thing he can do right now is let everyone do their jobs and resist any urge to micromanage the move. The next few weeks are “crucial,” he said, for progress on the new facility. “We’ve had a great land and building team,” said Harkness. “We’re asking everyone to pray and ask what God wants us to do. Right now, it’s pray and pray some more.”