The biggest church in Kelowna is getting bigger.
Trinity Baptist, located on Springfield Road, has announced plans to build a $6 million, 29,000-square foot addition to its 105,000-square foot complex.
The addition, to be built where a storage building and the church’s existing youth services space is now located, will house what the church calls its “Next Gen” ministries. They include services for elementary school, middle and high school kids, as well as older students.
According to senior pastor Wayne Alguire, the new space will not only add room for the church’s operations, but will likely include space available for public use.
“This is about Trinity growing to impact our growing city,” he said, adding the church feels its important to “add value” to the city it serves.
The cost of the addition will be borne by Trinity’s huge congregation, and Alguire said the church will not go into debt to build the new building.
Trinity Baptist is the largest church in the city and according to church officials, one of the 10 largest in Western Canada. Each weekend it holds three services in its huge auditorium that seats 2,200 people.
The auditorium space is so large, it annually hosts local high school graduation ceremonies and has also hosted several large civic events in the past, including the salute to fire fighters and emergency personnel following the 2003 Okanagan Mountain Park Forest Fire that destroyed hundreds of homes in the southern part of the city.
Alguire said the new space is needed because the existing area set up for older students just five years ago, is already too small.
“Our students just outgrew it,” said Alguire.
He said at a time when many churches across Canada are seeing their number dwindling, Trinity is growing, especially with younger people.
So the plan was hatched to build the new four-storey space, which will include classrooms on its roof, a roof garden, offices, a large lobby/meeting area with a food service, a recreation/games area, a worship/arts space with a stage and room for 200 kids and and an even larger multi-use area that could be used as a gymnasium, for concerts, theatre, meetings and presentations.
Alguire said it’s important that the new space be part of the community as that’s an integral part of the church’s mission in the city. As such, space in the building will be available for rent or be donated to groups the church works with.
The location of the space for the new building fronts Springfield Road on the east side of the existing church complex.
If all goes according to plan, the new building will be up and running by the fall of 2017.
Alguire said while the church membership has endorsed the building plan, final decisions about timing and how the building will be built—all at once or in phases—will be made by the end of the month based on the pledges from the congregation.
The fundraising campaign starts this month and will run until the building is complete.