There is a really nice article currently posted on MLive about our move to our new location. This article will also be coming out in the print edition of the Rockford Advance later this week. Check it out!
The congregation of Calvary Assembly of God moved services to Cedar Springs Red Hawk Elementary. Sunday, Aug. 30 was their first service in the new space.
Leaders of the Calvary Assembly of God church say they will have more resources available to help others now that they have moved from their Solon township facility into rented space in Cedar Springs.
The church has agreed to sell the building and accompanying acreage at 17 Mile Road near Olin Lakes to 2nd Chance School, a nonprofit for at-risk youth that will combine biblical lessons and traditional subjects with the care and training of horses, said Craig T. Owens, CAG senior pastor.
On Aug. 30, a year after the CAG congregation voted unanimously to sell their facility, they worshiped for the first time in the media center at Cedar Springs Red Hawk Elementary.
CAG is renting space from Cedar Springs Public Schools for Sunday and Wednesday services under normal rental agreements available to community organizations.
Moving to Cedar Springs is a “hand-in-glove fit for the focus of (the church’s) extensive outreach,” said Owens. “We are already so involved in activities in Cedar Springs, it seemed like we could be an even bigger blessing to our city if we were closer.”
Owens serves as the executive director of the En Gedi Youth Center, which is already located at Red Hawk Elementary. While some administrators and volunteers come from other area churches, many CAG members volunteer in the program, which had more than 250 enrolled during the 2014-2015 academic year.
In addition to working with En Gedi, CAG members are actively involved in the city in many other ways. They volunteer for clean-up days and at Chamber of Commerce events like the Christmas tree lighting and the Halloween Spooktacular.
Many churches start by meeting in schools and then move to their own building, said Owens. “Some may think this is backward, but it is not a backward step for us,” he said. “It is a forward-looking step.”
In addition to moving the church closer to the area its serves, it frees up resources both in money and time. “Instead of spending time mowing the lawn at our facility, we can mow lawns of people who need our help,” said Owens. “Instead of paying a heat bill for a building we only use two days a week, we will have resources to help pay a bill for somebody else.”
The CAG membership is on board. Not only did they vote unanimously to make the move, since the announcement was made they have added to the membership. “This (reaching into community) beats in their hearts as well,” said Owens.
While the move fits the CAG ministry model, it is also good for those promoting the 2nd Chance School. Owens said he had been thinking about such a move for more than two years, so when he learned that the 2nd Chance School was looking for space, he knew it was the right time.
“We have a hard time justifying paying for the full-time maintenance on a building in Solon Township that is only used a couple of days each week,” Owens said. “By only paying for the space we are using, it will free up finances to go to front-line ministries.”
Those front-line ministries could include temporary housing for at-risk, transitional families, greater financial support of local charities, as well as support for international missions work.
“We would be interested in owning another building at some time, only if it could be something like an around-the-clock ministry center,” Owens said. “Until that opportunity presents itself, we will rent from CSPS.”