By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA – Facing space concerns, Journey Church in Pineville has announced plans to establish a second campus.
Located in the space formerly occupied by Economy Boots at 1898 MacArthur Drive in Alexandria, the new facility will allow the church to seat up to 300 people, with a targeted launch date of April 1, 2018. The congregation averages 988 in combined attendance for three weekly services at its Pineville worship center and is on pace to outgrow its current capacity of 1,300 in a year, Executive Pastor Joshua Poe said.
“This is the biggest step of faith physically and financially we have taken,” Poe said. “We are called Journey Church for a reason: We are on a journey.
“People generally don’t like change, but Pastor James Greer and our people don’t mind changing,” he continued. “We do some things outside the box. Our people are willing to do whatever it takes to reach someone for Christ.”
The 14,000-sq.-ft. facility will have worship space, coffee area, classrooms and an office. Darrell Ingram, associate pastor at Journey Church’s Pineville campus, will serve as the pastor of the Alexandria location. Greer will remain at the Pineville campus but will have his messages livestreamed to those meeting in Alexandria.
Members celebrated the decision Oct. 22.
Originally Lee Heights Family Church in Pineville, the congregation moved in 2009 to the former site of Donahue Family Church and changed the name to Journey Church.
At the time of the move, the church averaged 236 in attendance, but by 2012 had grown to 377.
Since its inception, Journey Church has celebrated the baptism of 509 new converts and witnessed hundreds of other spiritual decisions, including repentances to restore fellowship with Christ, and, commitments to missions and ministry.
The congregation’s core value, “Growing People Change,” facilitates growth, and, its message to the lost, “I mess up, you mess up, we all mess up,” helps start conversations to convey the truth that Christ is the answer.
Journey Church ministries include Celebrate Recovery, professional counseling, hospital visitation and feeding the needy. Greer said its expanded presence is needed in an area where thousands still need the love of Christ.
“I’ve never been so excited about how God is going to use the new modern campus to reach so many for Christ,” Greer said. “Our vision is to bring those far from God close to God and there’s so many that don’t go to church at all or quit because they view church as boring, not relevant and always condemning.
“The truth is, Jesus would draw crowds where ever He went and condemned mainly the religious and self-righteous, not the sinners,” he continued. “Journey Church wants to be relevant, not boring, and let everybody feel welcome no matter where they have come from or what they have done.”