Converting a warehouse into a church

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Building a church from the ground up can be a long, daunting project.

For some, this his how a church is "founded, planted or began."

The Rev. Patrick Propster of Carson City Christian Fellowship told the youth of his ministry, "Christ is our foundation. The Word of God is our foundation. The Word of God has to be in your heart."

With that in mind, Propster allowed the youth to write their favorite verses from the Bible onto the steps leading to the stage of the church. With the room and stage yet to be carpeted, dozens of scriptures in red, blue, green and black written on the wood tell of each youth's insight.

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11. The verse was written on the wood by Katherine Leist on Jan. 19.

"I told the youth, who are under the direction of Karen Pratt and Joseph Clark, to write the scriptures the Lord has placed in their heart," said the 44-year-old Propster.

"It's amazing how you can take a warehouse and turn it into a place of prayer and worship. God doesn't care where you meet."

The church recently moved from its Research Way location to 1744 Forrest Way. The 25,000 square-foot warehouse has great potential, but the church is only utilizing about 7,000 square feet at this time.

The area includes a reception location, shared offices, classrooms for infants, toddlers and grade school children and kitchen and storage areas. The middle and high school students also gather. There are 40 youth in the youth group and 40 in the middle and high school group. The congregation currently has about 180 members.

"We were set to go to two services at our Research location," Propster said. "And we will go to two services here, eventually. That's our plan."

In preparation for the change in location, Propster and church elders met with city building officials to figure out what they needed to do to ensure the building was up to code.

"We had no clue as to what we needed to do," he said.

"The Carson City Building Department, the whole staff, were so helpful. And they're willing to see us through to completion. Just an awesome group of people to work with.

"Because basically, I had no clue what needed to be done and why. The bottom line is, all improvements and additions are done for safety. And we want our people safe."

The improvements are adding to the aesthetic value, too. Soft, adjustable lighting, hidden ventilation, dark ceiling areas with a blended paint scheme, and well-placed drywall and insulation to add to the acoustic effect.

The project has brought artists, construction workers, plumbers, electrical specialists and more out from the body of the congregation and helped move the transition forward quicker than Propster could have imagined.

"We have so much talent in our church, it's amazing how many people surfaced when we needed the help," he said.

Propster mentioned they are working with the building owner on a lease/option-to-buy deal. And the neighbors have all been very gracious allowing the congregation to use their parking areas.

"The added traffic does not negatively impact the residential area and has a positive impact on the industrial, he said. "More people are seeing what businesses are here. They're more aware."

Reflecting on his ministry, Propster said he asked God two years ago, "What did he want him to do? What was his purpose?

"Did he want him to continue pastoring in Las Vegas, or, help the struggling church in Carson City that was desperately in need of guidance."

Propster said he met with the elders of the church asking them what they wanted. All were in agreement they wanted the church to continue, but no one would step forward into the role of pastor.

"I knew I was not here to close a church but to make it flourish," Propster said.

"He wanted me to cultivate confident Christian families. Those words fit the acronym CCCF -- Carson City Christian Fellowship," he said. "That is what God wanted me do. And teach the word of God, in depth, verse by verse."


What: Carson City Christian Fellowship

Where: 1744 Forrest Way, off Goni Road

When: Sunday worship and kids church 10 a.m.; Wednesday service 7 p.m.; several home Bible studies during the week; Jr and Sr High Youth Groups; Men's and Women's Bible studies.

Call: 883-5215


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