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Journey Church opens new home


KIM STEELE/Miner

From left, Kevin Schleeter, commercial loan officer for Horizon Community Bank, and Dale Sharp, lead pastor of Journey Church, stand in the new sanctuary at the church, located at 3782 Bank St.

KINGMAN - When Journey Church celebrates its grand opening service Sunday morning, it won't be the numbers - how many showed up and how long they waited in line for seats - that matter to lead pastor Dale Sharp.

It will be the challenge of beginning the church's mission in its new neighborhood. Located at 3782 Bank St., the church is planning to reach out to those who live around it, from the homeless who frequent Cornerstone Mission down the street and the lower-income residents of the Butler area to the middle- and upper-class subdivisions nearby.

"The numbers aren't really that important," said Sharp, who came to Journey Church on Jan. 1, 2013. "We see ourselves as Journey Church Hospital. We want to introduce the people around us to Christ and reach those who aren't going to church anywhere. Where there are good churches, crime goes down. We are very community-minded and want to help Kingman be a better place to live."

Sharp should know about the effect of religion on crime rates. The former U.S. Navy River Rat and retired undercover drug cop with the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department in Southern California has had his share of big cases and bought plenty of drugs in bars as part of his busts.

And as a pastor, he's seen how encouraging people to incorporate the word of God in their lives in practical ways can change them.

Sharp, who was the senior pastor of Grace Bible Church in Helendale, California, for 12 years, became pastor of Journey Church in January 2013 and has led it from its temporary home at White Cliffs Middle School to the new 17,000-square-foot church building on six acres. The church, which is affiliated with the Evangelical Churches of America, will seat 376 people and features a sanctuary with two 16-foot-by-9-foot video screens.

It also includes a nursery and several large Sunday school classrooms. The 5-year-old congregation's original 270 members bought the land before Sharp arrived and raised about $260,000 to begin building, and Horizon Community Bank loaned it about $800,000. The acreage and facility are appraised at about $1.9 million.

"We had to work hard to meet both their and our needs," said Kevin Schleeter, commercial loan officer for Horizon Community Bank, who frequently toured the church as construction progressed. "But it's really cool when you can help out with something like this. It has to fit the needs of both the customer and the bank and make sense for both parties, which it does in this case."

Last Sunday, at the church's soft opening, about 460 people showed up and packed the auditorium, said Sharp. The church will solve that problem by going to two services June 8 - with a traditional service at 8:30 a.m. and a contemporary service at 10 a.m. The dress code is casual at all the church's services.

For more information, call the church office at (928) 757-4520.





 

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