Stettler Alliance Church has found a new larger home for its expanding ministries and congregation.
Less than a year after town council told the church it would have to move from the prime Highway 12 property on the west end of town if it wanted extend its facilities, the Alliance Church is setting up shop elsewhere.
The church has bought the Stettler First Baptist Church property and building on 41 Avenue.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to accommodate our ongoing and growing ministries,” said Alliance Church lead pastor Scott Whitford.
“We love the idea of being close to so many people and having enough space for our programs to run effectively.”
Closing its long ministry in the town last Sunday, the First Baptist Church of Stettler willingly offered the facility on the 1.7-acre parcel to the Alliance Church.
“We wanted to keep a good Christian witness in this neighbourhood,” said Frank Craig, who chaired this board of the Baptist Church.
Now, the Alliance Church wants to carry the torch and follow through on its two-year-old expansion plans.
“We are hoping to be great neighbours and make a positive contribution to our community in the new location,” Whitford said.
This new home for the Alliance Church has about 10,460 square foot of space, with a sanctuary that can seat up to 250 people. It’s expected to provide more than double the space at the current facility, which covers about 4,288 square feet and a sanctuary that’s often full at 150 on Sunday mornings.
After an offer to purchase the fully-furnished facility was accepted in a vote by members in December, the Alliance Church plans to move into its new meeting place this summer after minor renovations and alterations are complete.
After a building inspection gave a healthy report last month, the Alliance Church purchased the Baptist Church building, which has been the Baptist base since 1979.
More and larger classrooms will further provide the Alliance Church with ample space for growing numbers in Sunday school and vacation Bible school. Those programs have been maximized in the current facility.
Constructed about 10 years ago on the two-acre property, the current Alliance Church building was approved in 2001 when the town development authority allowed churches under public assembly as a discretionary use when the town had ample highway commercial land in that area, before the land-use was removed in 2011, which prevents the church from expanding its building at this site.
The Alliance Church plans to list its current property — alongside Tim Hortons — for sale.