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Record Attendance at Grand Junction Church Dedication »
Some 270 worshipers attended a dedication service, and the first Sabbath worship of 2018 in the 300-seat sanctuary of the newly built church in Grand Junction.
The dedication service of the church as the Lord's house of worship, included prayers by five of the church elders and interim pastor, James Fox. Each presented thanksgiving prayers praising God for His blessings in the planning, negotiating, fundraising, and construction phases leading up to their occupancy of the church and school facility.
Entitled "Unless the Lord Builds the House" based on Psalm 127:1, the first sermon in the new church was delivered by Pastor Fox. As on the previous Sabbath when a farewell was said to the old church building, the congregation held hands around the new sanctuary and sang, "Side by side we stand".
More than 270 members and friends of the Grand Junction Church came to worship and experience the new
building on January 6. The entire congregation realized the magnitude of this number when off-street parking was completely filled by 9:45 am. Street parking near the church became increasingly difficult to find.
"Two hundred seventy worshippers is a record attendance in recent memory," stated Bernie Hartnell, Building Committee Chairperson.
This first Sabbath worship was a testimony to the Power of God and the faithfulness of His people. The building process has presented unique challenges to the congregation both financially and relationally. "God has moved upon this congregation powerfully so that we are stronger in unity and finances than we were before," said Pastor Fox. "God has been so good!"
In a congratulatory letter read by Karla Klemm, a prominent leader in the church, RMC president Ed Barnett said that, “there is not another church in our Conference who has gone through more stress and duress than your church in the last couple of years. Building programs are incredibly difficult, pastoral changes seem to bring great angst and you have gone through both.”
Barnett thanked the “lay leadership for the way you stepped up and continued to move forward through very difficult days. And I thank God for James Fox moving in at just the right time and being willing to step in as interim pastor. Does God know what He is doing or what?”
He also stated that “God is doing miraculous things in Grand Junction. Your facility will be a great place for worship and fellowship. I know it will be a beacon of light in your community.”
Ron Johnson, communication director for the church and someone who could be referred to as a church old-timer, commented that a move to a new facility offered a more contemporary worship place, and the various church departments are adjusting to their new meeting places and storage rooms.
"I was giddy with excitement when I first walked the into the new Church. Even the smell of the building was new and fresh and beautfiul!" said Alicia Moodie, Praise Team Leader.
Naturally, changes bring challenges, and as relocation encompassed just a brief period of time, the church “thankfully, is looking into the future while adjusting to the new place,” Johnson said.
The Grand Junction Campus hosts three different organizations, explains Pastor Fox. Intermountain Adventist Academy will open its doors next week and renew their ministry to students and parents. This three-teacher K-8 Church School is growing with 36 students currently enrolled and great plans for future growth in ministry. The campus includes the Little Lambs Learning Center, LLC, a daycare provider in Grand Junction with a great reputation in the community for quality Christian service to pre-school children. The new daycare building is planned for occupancy by May 31, 2018. The new building will provide space for 85 children and will increase LLC's ability to serve the community. The above-mentioned institutions are sister-entities of the Grand Junction Church.
--RMCNews with James Fox and Ron Johnson; photos by Ron Johnson