Church Takeover of Nightclub Coming Soon

Local News

A transformation is underway, from nightclub to church.

Hammerheads on Main Street in downtown Evansville only has a few nights left before it become the home of Encounter Church.

It currently shares space with The Gathering Church on Walnut Street.

Pastor Stew Armstrong founded Encounter more than three years ago, and has held service in a rec room.

But soon he’ll have a place all his own – and Armstrong says it’ll be even more than that; with a coffee shop, meeting rooms, and child care in the plans.

Armstrong says he’ll start work in a couple of weeks, and the building will receive a complete renovation. He’s aiming to open up at the end of fall.

It’s ironic how a church is taking over for this nightclub. Hammerheads has made headlines with shootings and fights outside its doors.

A fact neighbors on Main St. are well aware of.

“It’s kinda rough in the area,” says Stephanie Sheffer, “a lot of fights break out down here.”

A fact Armstrong isn’t shying away from.

“We’re all sinners outside God’s grace,” he says.

The perception is about to change, and the fear he believes will soon be gone.

“We want it to be a place where we could go to you,” Armstrong says. “People in our church have gone there, got drunk, got high, done all sorts of things there, and God has changed them.”

One day pretty soon those people will be singing praises to the lord there.

Nikki Langston lives next door, and is glad to see the take over. “That’s awesome, I think it’s a cool idea.”

It’s fitting, on Good Friday how he spreads a message – tear it down to build it back up.

“We’ve seen Jesus die on the cross today, he’s gonna raise on Sunday.”

The old life has to die before a new one can begin.

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