Janesville63.9°

Churches sharing same building

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Catherine W. Idzerda
September 30, 2008
— Think of it as sharing a room with a stepsister or friendly cousin.

For the next year, Emmanuel Free Methodist Church and Saunders Creek Community Church will share the same building at 2618 Mt. Zion Ave., Janesville.


It’s an unusual situation but indicates that both communities are growing.


Emmanuel has about 160 members, and its current location on Mt. Zion Avenue is starting to feel a little cramped.


Saunders Creek Community Church is worshiping at the Veterans’ Memorial Building, 414 Albion St., Edgerton.


The Rev. Tom Zillman started the church about five years ago with a tiny group of worshipers from a Janesville church, and it has grown significantly since then.


Emmanuel has owned land on Highway 14 near Wuthering Hills Drive for a number of years, said Kristen Fox, the church’s director of family ministries.


“We’ve been talking about building for five years, but the timing hasn’t been right,” Fox said.


Now the time is right to build—but the congregation isn’t quite ready to start packing. Its new building won’t be ready until the end of next summer.


In an unusual move, Emmanuel sold its building to Saunders Creek and leaders of both churches reached an agreement to share the building.


Emmanuel’s service will be at 9 a.m. and Saunders Creek’s service will be at 11 a.m., Fox explained.Emmanuel will rent the building for Sunday morning services and as needed during the week.


Fox anticipated a few logistical problems but believes the communities will get along fine.


“There might be some problems with ‘who gets to use a room on a Tuesday night,’ but we share the same goals—making sure people know about Christ,” Fox said.


CHURCH CELEBRATION

Emmanuel Free Methodist Church won’t be moving into its new building until 2009, but congregational members are ready to have a party for their new neighbors now.


What: Church “meet and greet” on its new property. The event will feature inflatables and games for the kids and refreshments


When: 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25.


Where: The new church property is just north of Wuthering Hills Drive on the corner of Highway 14 and Whilden Court, Janesville.



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