In December, Crossroads Lutheran Church, which BHITC supports financially and through its Transform216 initiative, moved into its new facility on Brookpark Road. This blessing from God is already yielding fruit for Crossroads. Church planter, Dave Walters, who is also a skilled general contractor, says the move followed nearly two years of renovations to what was previously a series of restaurants. He and a group of committed volunteers led nearly all of the construction efforts, all while launching Crossroads as a church.
Here are Dave’s insights on the process God has led him and Crossroads through to this point.
BHITC: When was your first Sunday worship in the building? Describe the experience.
Walters: The first Sunday celebration in the new building was held on December 6, 2015. It was amazing! Since the building was still a little rough around the edges, we were a little concerned that it would be a turn off for people. However, we discovered it helped new people feel a little more comfortable. I spoke of how the building was a “work in progress” – still a little rough around the edges – and related it to our lives. We focused on God as the master architect of our life. No one seemed to really care about the dings and dents of the building. We were all just grateful for what God provided.
BHITC: What has it been like for the community at Crossroads to be in the new space? How has it impacted worship? Outreach?
Walters: The last two months in the building have allowed the ministry of Crossroads to grow. Even though worshipping in the hotel next door to our building allowed us to make connections with hurting people, the space we worshiped wasn’t ideal. Many of the people we met associated the hotel with pain and hurt and worldly suffering, as it is a known center for drug usage and prostitution. Since we have been in our building, people who were leery of coming into the hotel space have come to church. Over the last couple weeks, a manager of one of the nearby adult entertainment clubs has been attending on Sundays, too! We are also working with ten adults and children toward a Baptism weekend this spring.
BHITC: How do you hope the facility will be used in mission in 2016 and beyond? Other than worship, what are your plans for it?
Walters: Our purpose for having a building has been to be a beacon of light in a dark community. For Crossroads, Sunday worship is only a small part of that mission. The building has already been used for a sexual abstinence workshop for teens, community gatherings and partnerships with Cleveland Pregnancy Center and Operation Christmas Child. And, our Sózó ministry to women in the adult entertainment industry, organized a paint party and spa day event.
BHITC: What are some facility needs still on your “wish list” that would help Crossroads in its mission?
Walters: Our most urgent facility need is a nursery. Time and time again, we have seen the need to provide a safe, enclosed space to care for small children. We have some unfinished space committed for that use and are currently raising $4,000 in donations to build it. The building’s roof is also going to need some attention in the future. Through BHITC’s CitySERVE event, we hope to accomplish such a large project through the help of many volunteers