The congregation came together to renovate the historical St. Andrew's Church in time for their first service

 - Calvary Chapel of Crook County held its first service in its new building last Sunday.

It's been a process of two years, but we have finally wrapped up the purchase of our new building and had our first worship service this past Sunday.

It was one of dedication and thanksgiving! For many years, our family sizes have been growing at Calvary Chapel, and children's ministry spaces have been overly crowded. We looked at purchasing a few other properties, but all of them were closed doors.

When a man in our church met a woman from St. Andrew's Episcopal at a laundromat and discussed our need for space, St. Andrew's graciously offered to lend some of their space. The Episcopal facility has double the square footage as our former place on Belknap Street as well as having a large multipurpose room, multiple kitchens, and room for families and discipleship classes.

After much prayer and fasting, seeking the direction of the Lord, the conversation went on, doors kept staying open, and the Episcopal church went a step further, offering to sell the building to us. As the months rolled by with many hurdles for both parties, we grew in friendship with St. Andrew's, and they generously and patiently helped us finalize acquiring the building. We closed the deal on Jan. 31.

Not wanting to couple our new mortgage with our old rent, we hustled to get the necessary renovations done on the historical St. Andrew's with a goal of being in the new location within a month's time by Sunday, March 3.

We called our congregation to action, and they responded! It was fantastic to see our fellowship rally to the task with a mind to work!

Beginning Feb. 2, numerous people contributed to the project of renovating the historical structure. Almost every day was like a busy hive with every man, woman and child doing their share.

 - Church members worked hard to get the building ready for use.As in the building of the tabernacle in Exodus 35, members generously donated resources, tools of all sorts, dump trailers, front-end loaders and a necessary scissor lift. Artistic craftsmen came out of the woodwork to … well, do woodwork.

It was such a stellar sight to see folks using their skills and talents to run HVAC, repair the elevator lift, construct alder wood slider doors, run cable, lay flooring, hang sheet rock, sand, paint and stain. Of course men and women rose up to do some of the less glamorous tasks as well.

We all rejoiced to see the Lord use this project to bring a unity of heart, growth in friendship, recognition of gifting, and a reminder of our purpose.

For the most part, we met our goal of having "phase 1" of the project done by March 3. Everything but some trim work and a few items needing stain was ready for our first gathering.

It was quite thrilling to have the seats filled and to bring in another many dozens to accommodate the crowd in our new home. We went to Exodus 35 and recounted the willing hearts God gave us to give resourcefully to the purchase of the new property, then went to 1 Kings 8 and read the prayer of Solomon at the dedication of the temple.

We, too, desired this location to be a place where men who have failed and sinned against God can come and cry out to Him in humble repentance, knowing that even today in Prineville, He hears and acts because of the sacrifice that was made by the Lamb of God Jesus Christ at the Temple Mount.

It is because of that sacrifice the Spirit of God comes into our lives and gives us power to maintain our cause, a cause that was painted on a mapped canvas and framed by one of our craftsman placed in the new foyer, "We exist to make disciples in our city and of all nations who are sent out to proclaim and embody the gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God."

Rory Rodgers is the pastor of Calvary Chapel of Crook County. He can be reached at 541-416-9009.

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