The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Religion news: Local church makes big move
BY BRIDGET BALCH
Last month, Stafford Crossing Community Church moved from its 10-year meeting place at Stafford High School to its newly-constructed building.
The move was the culmination of a years-long effort to provide the growing church with its own, permanent home.
Stafford Crossing started meeting at Stafford High School in September of 2002. The church rented the school’s auditorium as it searched for a place of its own.
According to Senior Pastor Darryl Mosley, “the school was phenomenal,” but it was a struggle having to put up and tear down the church setup every Sunday.
The leaders of Stafford Crossing shared their vision for a new facility with the congregation and asked that members give over and above their usual offerings to help realize it—and the congregation responded.
The church searched for land for three years before purchasing the 54 acres of land for $1 million. The church obtained a conditional use permit in 2009 to purchase and build on the historic land, as long as they agreed to preserve the Civil War cemetery and encampments located on it.
It cost $4.1 million to build the new facility at 1420 Forbes St., according to a press release from the church.
The new building has a worship center that seats 550 people and nine classrooms featuring a high-tech security system to ensure safety for the children.
About 550 adults and children attend the services at the new building on Sundays. Parents check their children into the children’s ministry using touch-screen kiosks, and the doors to the classrooms are locked while the parents attend the church’s service. There also are motion-activated cameras throughout the building that are monitored constantly during the services as a precaution.
Church members plan to continue to expand the facility by adding an administrative wing, recreational fields and additional classrooms, according to the press release.
Kerri Mills, who has attended services at Stafford Crossing for two years, said the services the church held Stafford High School were “nice,” but the new building is a welcome change.
“They made it a family and a church environment, but it is definitely nice having our own building,” Mills said.
Ken Hinkle, a member for seven years, said he thought meeting at the high school probably helped attract people who are more leery of churches. But “they said build it and they will come,” he said of the new facility, and attendance at services has already increased.
The church’s land purchase has proved to be beneficial not only for the church community, but for the preservation of the site’s history.
“The property was going to be another sub-division with a Civil War Monument,” said Kenny Franklin, a member of Stafford Crossing Community Church. “When we bought the property, we agreed to preserve the history and the cemetery.”
Preservation easements will be put in place to protect these sites, and the church is in the process of building a walking path and setting up signs.
There will also be an artifact board in front of the church that will display bullets and other relics of the Civil War found on the site.
Pastor Mosley said some people look at a church meeting in temporary facilities and think it is less credible. He is hoping that Stafford Crossing’s new land and building will establish the church’s permanency.
ON THE NET:
Bridget Balch: 540/374-5444