By Morgan Smith, Faith Editor
Many OBU students may be familiar with Shawnee’s Frontline Church, located on 1104 North Robinson Avenue.
However, the church will soon have a change in locations. Alex Greenwood, Frontline’s Administrative Director, said the move comes as a result of the church’s growing congregation.
“We need more space, there just isn’t enough room where we are to meet the goals and vision we believe the Lord has for Shawnee,” Greenwood said. “He has been pouring students and families in and we just don’t have room.”
Jerard Friend, the Director of Operations, said the attendance has grown from an average of around 200 per Sunday to 300-320 people.
“We’ve seen a huge increase in our kid’s church area as well,” Friend said.
He said the current building has reached its maximum occupancy.
Greenwood said the church has been praying about where to move for a few years.
“The Lord has given us the opportunity to move into this beautiful old church building in the heart of Downtown Shawnee, and we want to follow the doors that He has opened for us,” Greenwood said.
The new church building is a former Presbyterian Church. Friend said that Frontline is currently finalizing a contract with the building.
“It’s just a few blocks away from our current location,” Friend said. “We’re under contract with them, and we’re waiting to close, and we’ll be closing on that facility in May.”
Although the new location has already been decided, Friend said Frontline has not yet determined when the new building will officially open its doors.
“Once we have the closing, there’s going to be a lot of steps that happen between getting the building, doing remodels and then opening the church and basically kicking off our new venture there,” Friend said.
In the meantime, Frontline is raising money for the remodeling of the building.
Anyone who is interested in donating to the church may go to frontlinechurch.com, and click on the Shawnee tab to find more information.
“Our other congregations are expanding, not just Frontline Shawnee, but almost everyone of our other congregations are needing funding as well,” Friend said. “So, all of our funding is going in this one big pot, but if someone wants to give to Frontline Shawnee through the Missional Movement, they incorporate it into their giving questionnaire.”
Friend said that the change in location will ultimately be monumental to Frontline Shawnee’s future growth, and will quadruple their current space.
“It’s really hard right now for people to invite their friends and family and their non-believer friends into our congregation currently, because they’re not a hundred percent sure they’re going to have room,” Friend said. “That’s something we definitely do not want to ever have to deal with, and what this allows us to do is to step into that and not have any kind of fear over whether we’re going to have room or not.”
The new location will also allow the church to host events, which their current location does not accommodate.
“It’ll give us the space to serve our community and congregation,” Greenwood said. “We want to have the space to welcome and serve as many people as God brings through our doors, and right now we are just at capacity.”
Greenwood said Frontline is excited about both the new building and the opportunity to better serve the Shawnee community.
“We will be gaining so much education space for our kids,” he said. “It will also give us a home, a place to really build a gospel presence in Shawnee.”