HURRICANE - The congregation of the Teays Valley campus of River Ridge Church has settled into a new home that was once a car dealership.
The facility has been transformed to meet the needs of the growing church.
"The transformation of an existing building and bringing something back to life is a powerful symbol of what it means for us as believers," Pastor Chad Cobb said. "The scripture says that through Christ we are new creations."
The church at 1 Saturn Way in Hurricane has been a Saturn dealership as well as other businesses, including a spot where campers were sold.
The Putnam County congregation began meeting at West Teays Elementary in 2008. River Ridge also has a Charleston location on Greenbrier Street past Capital High School where Matt Santen serves as pastor.
"At West Teays Elementary, we outgrew the space and had gone to two services," Cobb said. "We began looking for property two years ago."
When church leaders learned the current building was available, a team of experts checked it out and pointed out amenities.
"They saw things we never saw," Cobb said. "We dreamed and prayed. It's amazing how little we had to do."
Renovations began in mid-April and proceeded quickly.
The facility got a fresh coat of paint and new carpet. One wall was torn down and a few more constructed to create the desired interior. An elevator was added to the two-level structure.
The 19,000-square-foot facility has generous lighting from spacious windows.
The sanctuary is located on the lower level in what was once a maintenance center. At the West Teays Elementary location, the congregation included about 450. The first service at the new location on Aug. 18 drew 750, including "family, friends, and well-wishers," the pastor said.
However, several members of the congregation visited a week before the open house and wrote scriptures on the sanctuary floor before it was covered with carpet.