"Every building is different," says John Gates, a volunteer from Oklahoma. Some say a church can help build community. But in Sturgis, a community is building a church.
"I'd rather do this than go to church," Gates says. He says building the new First Christian Church is a revival for members and volunteers.
"I am doing something for people that can be bought to the lord that will last long after I am gone," Gates adds.
Church officials say the 20,000 square foot building will replace its old home on North Adams Street. Pastor Rodney Raymond says it was needed because the old church was beyond repair, and to accommodate its growing community.
"We've doubled our size in attendance and we plan on continuing to grow, and we've outgrown that facility," he says.
Volunteers started building last week and spent Monday working on the rafters. The century old church will be torn down once they've moved in. but it won't be forgotten.
"We have some incredible stain glass windows that came here from Austria, and those windows, a number of those will be used in the new facility for decorations," Raymond says. "And we want to remember the old, and the sacrifices for so many of so many years. So, we want to honor that as we look to the future."
Church officials say they plan to hold services in the new building next spring, but aren't ruling out opening it as soon as this Christmas.
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