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New & Unique Locations to Plant a Church

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Zoning ordinances, school and hotel usage regulations, overpriced rents, local restrictions on religious organizations – new churches face numerous challenges in finding a place to meet. With God’s help and provision, Converge church planters take some creative approaches to resolve this problem. Here are a few…

#1 Church in a Movie Theater
Iron Ridge Church
Waukon, Iowa
Marlan Mincks, pastor

After Mincks inked the contract to purchase the Main Feature Theatre & Pizza Pub in October 2007, the church decided to keep the restaurant open and remodel the theater as its sanctuary. All restaurant profits go to Iowa church planting.

#2 Church in a Skating Rink
Ambassadors of Christ Fellowship
Columbus, Georgia
Luis Scott, pastor

In 2010 ACF bought the 25,000-square-foot Lambert Skating Rink, which had been unoccupied for six years. After remodeling the rink, the church opened its sanctuary in October 2011 and added eight classrooms and three nurseries in 2012. English and Spanish-speaking congregations share the facilities. A fellowship area, café and offices are under construction.

#3 Church in a Computer Store
Heartland Church
Indianapolis, Indiana
Darryn Scheske, pastor

Leading a new church of 30 people, pastor Scheske signed a lease in May 2001 on a former Elek-Tek Computer store. The church remodeled the building for classrooms, offices and a 1,000-seat sanctuary. Since then, additional sites were added in Indianapolis and at Purdue University in Lafayette.

#4 Church in a Movie Theater
Epikos Church
Milwaukee, West Allis
Danny Parmelee, pastor

Founded in 2004 in Milwaukee, Epikos purchased the Paradise Theater in suburban West Allis in June 2011 and completed remodeling a year later. Continuing to meet in Milwaukee, they opened their West Allis campus in June 2012.

#5 Coffeehouse & Church Combo
SoZo Coffeehouse & Missio Dei Community Church
Chandler, Arizona
Scott Morgan, pastor

When you walk into SoZo Coffeehouse in Chandler, Arizona you won’t see crosses and Bible verses on the walls. And you won’t know a church of more than 100 people worships here every Sunday. In fact, the only hint of a church you’ll find is an 8.5”x11” sheet of paper displayed on the countertop. It reads, “Missio Dei Community Church meets here every Sunday. All are welcome.” Pastor and owner Scott Morgan calls SoZo Coffeehouse and Missio Dei Community Church his “unique venture,” a combination of business and missions.

#6 Church in a Gas Station
Epiphany Station
Thief River Falls, Minnesota
Jeff Gauss, pastor

Available sites were hard to find in Thief River Falls for this 45-member church plant. After a long search, church planter Jeff Gauss settled on remodeling a gas station. Epiphany saw more than 500 attendees this Easter.

*This article first appeared in Converge’s Point Magazine. Used by permission.


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