At a time when its membership is growing, Victorious Living Church has moved into a new location.
Church members gathered Nov. 3 for a ribbon-cutting and dedication service at Victorious Living's newly renovated worship center at 2996 Columbus St.
The church held its first services Labor Day weekend in September at the building, which previously housed the Grove City Church of the Nazarene's child-care program.
"During June, July and August we were busy renovating the building and getting the interior ready. It was daily work to get everything done," the Rev. Ed Akers said.
Victorious Living purchased the property from the Nazarene church, which moved its entire child-care program to its main campus at 4770 Hoover Road. Cypress Church Grove City purchased Victorious Living's property at 2735 Columbus St. and began holding its services there on Easter Sunday, April 21.
The arrangement between the three churches was finalized in February.
While Victorious Living renovated its new site, Cypress Church allowed the congregation to continue holding its services and activities in its old building rent-free, Akers said.
"We wouldn't be in this debt-free position without their generosity," he said.
"We've seen our membership grow from 300 to 350 (since that time), so this is an opportune time for us to move into our new building," Akers said.
The space at the former Nazarene property is smaller than Victorious Living's previous location, 22,000 square feet compared to 32,000 square feet, "but we're able to make more efficient use of the new space. It's the right sizing for us," he said.
The church will begin holding two Sunday services, at 9 and 10:45 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 10, to help accommodate the growing membership.
Most importantly, the agreement with the Church of the Nazarene allows Victorious Living to move forward debt-free, Akers said.
"We're able to put all of our focus on people, not debt, and do more to serve the people of our congregation and the community," he said.
Those efforts include working with foster-care organizations to hold a Christmas banquet for youngsters in December and working on the Journey Bag project, in which Victorious Living provides bags containing supplies, toys, books and other items to agencies that will see they are given to children who are moving into a foster home.
"The Journey Bags help make the transition a little easier," Akers said.
The property at 2996 Columbus St. originally served as the main campus for the Church of the Nazarene from 1970 to 1987, when it moved to Hoover Road. The child-care center opened in 1989 on Columbus Street.
"It's a really special feeling to have this building once again serve as a church," Akers said.
Victorious Living member Tiffany Rhodes began attending the Church of the Nazarene at the Columbus Street location when she was in second grade.
After "getting a little too busy" and "getting kind of lost," Rhodes said, she reinvigorated her faith when she joined Victorious Living eight years ago.
"It's a blessing and a step back in time for me" to be once again attending worship services at 2996 Columbus St., she said.
"Being part of Victorious Living has meant a new life for me," Rhodes said. "And now, it's a new life for our church moving into our new building."
As he prepared to cut the ribbon during the Nov. 3 service, the Rev. Brent Powell, senior pastor, noted the spirit of cooperation between the three churches that led to the property agreements.
Despite being of different denominations, Victorious Living, Cypress Church and the Church of the Nazarene each serve the same Lord, he said.
Victorious Living's move is "a strong testament to our faithfulness, not just to past and present generations, but to generations to come," he said.