BY MELANIE BUCK –
Christ Community Fellowship celebrated their first anniversary on Valentine’s Day and announced a magnificent fundraising result for the young church. In one year, the congregation not only raised enough to buy land for their new location, but also enough to begin construction on their 14,000 sq. foot church that will sit across from the Ouachita Golf Course on Hwy. 88, east of Mena.
Pastor Lance Sawyer said, “Our people are really amazing in that less than a year, they’ve raised almost half a million dollars for our church building and land. That is cash above regular tithes, not pledges.” In fact, in the first three weeks of their efforts, the church raised $162,436, more than enough to pay for the 26 acre plot of land. In the next six months, they raised over $300,000 to begin the construction process. “Everybody is excited to get our building built,” said Sawyer.
The fellowship currently meets at Mena Mountain Resort on Sunday mornings for food, fellowship, and worship. “The food and fellowship that we have on Sunday mornings brings people in. They come for the services but the food gets them there early,” said Max Jones, a member of the building committee. Building committee member Dorothy Stevenson agreed, “The fellowship is great and brings us all together.”
The new location will feature a nice size children’s ministry. Sawyer said after researching and looking at other churches, Building Committee member Tracy Hensley had many good ideas. The children’s ministry has been drawn into the design with the purpose of seeing it from any door you enter. “It’s going to be centralized and will communicate that children are high priority,” Sawyer said.
Making the building with a more masculine feel is another goal of the group. “One piece of advice we got while looking into building plans was that most churches are designed with women in mind but there is a reason why so many men don’t want to go to church; they don’t feel masculine enough,” Sawyer explained. He said they hope to correct that with their wooden and rock building that will feature rockwork on the inside and a fireplace in the eating area.
There are many plans running through the minds of the building committee on what to do with all that land. “We are thinking about having flag football, a fire pit, walking and running trails, maybe softball or soccer fields, and possibly a shooting range,” said Sawyer.
When asked about their hard work to bring together such success in their efforts, Hensley said, “The biggest thing for me is just feeling such peace with my church and what’s going on in our lives. I’m so comfortable; it’s a peace and joy.” Jones said, “Never before in my life have I looked forward to Sunday, but now I do.” “
Christ Community Fellowship meets at 10 a.m. on Sunday mornings at Mena Mountain Resort on Hwy. 71 North. They also hold youth services at Simple Simon’s Pizza in Mena on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. And, Pastor Sawyer said if you’re unable to make it, he does a weekly radio service at 8:30 a.m. on KENA 104.1FM. “We have a really good leader in our church. I feel at home and it’s a very warm and loving group of people who are enthusiastic about their church and spiritual life,” smiled Stevenson.