Originally published in Western Recorder – http://www.westernrecorder.org/1377.article
Calhoun—Harvest Church of Calhoun, a church plant that began meeting as missional communities in 2015 and expanded to include a Sunday service on Sept. 11, 2016, met for the first time in their new building on Nov. 6.
After being told that the lease was up sooner than expected for the community center where they met, the church had less than a month to find a new gathering place. When originally looking for a physical church home, they had overlooked this particular location because it would need too many renovations and cost too much.
“I begged, ’Please don’t get this building. Please don’t get this building.’ … The outside of the building was ugly. There was no parking,” Niki Troutman, wife of Will Troutman, the pastor of Harvest Church, recalled.
“I was very, very wrong. This building is pretty great,” she admitted. “The price was a lot less than we expected it to be and the location was good, too.”
The building, referred to as the “old sewing factory” by locals, did need a lot of work though, Niki noted.
Their back-up plan was to meet in a local Methodist church’s facilities at an alternate time. The Troutmans both expressed that would be “detrimental” to what the church was doing, having to coordinate around farmers’ and families’ schedules. They said that the only barrier they wanted for people to come to church was the offense of the gospel, not scheduling conflicts.
Utilizing volunteer power within Harvest and a few members of its planting church, Pleasant Valley Community Church in Owensboro, “from the floor to the ceiling,” the electricity in the building was turned on a week-and-a-half before the move-in date, and the church went to work.
“We were hanging framing on the door last night. We painted the floor in the hallway last night. We moved some of the furniture in this morning,” Pastor Troutman explained on its opening day. “Just in the nick of time, God provided the supplies to gather here today. God’s providence has been evident through the whole thing. We have not had a need that God hasn’t met.”
Throughout the entire process the church has experienced God providing, from preserving the Troutman’s marriage, with both working full-time jobs and going to school on top of planting a church, to providing finances for the church building, to watching their plant grow from a small missional community to a Sunday morning gathering averaging 50-60 with three missional communities, Troutman said.
“The core of the church is settled in the community. It’s so neat to see a small community come together like that,” said Kris Doyle, a member of Pleasant Valley who came to be a part of the church plant for a while and “fell in love with the people.”
“I just know that Pastor Will and Niki have this heart for Calhoun, and just the things that they want to do here are really something,” Doyle added.
“We don’t want to create a Sunday morning gathering—that is just one part of what we are doing. We as a church want to be more than a service,” Troutman said.
“We want to be a church that’s committed to making disciples,” he continued. “Our Sunday morning gathering is a place that people can worship God specifically for the things that He’s done and who He is.
“The church isn’t a building. In time, we may be somewhere else,” he said. “But while we are here, we want to be good stewards of this good gift God has given us to facilitate the work of the church.” (WR)