Eight years of planning and work have come to fruition with the grand opening of the Church in the Valley this weekend in Murrayville.
This new 7th Day Adventist Church has been in use in recent weeks as the congregation has sold its former Aldergrove 7th Day Adventist Church. Rose of Sharon Baptist Church has taken full occupancy of the former church building in Aldergrove.
Many of the finishing touches are still being put on the new Church in the Valley by the various sub-contractors, but the main sanctuary will be officially opened this Saturday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m.
Daniel Jackson, the president of the 7th Day Adventists in North America, will preside over the ribbon cutting and worship service at that time.
The church building, located at 23589 Old Yale Rd., also fronts onto Fraser Hwy. and there will be entrance gates at both roads. It is a massive building, totaling 63,000 square feet, but Pastor David Jamieson stresses that much of this space will be devoted to services provided to the wider community.
“We wanted to create a community facility,” said Jamieson. “A facility that the community feels welcome to enjoy as well. It is designed as an events centre.”
The main sanctuary accommodates 875 people at one time, with an atrium of equal size and a fully-equipped kitchen to match, which lends itself to wedding parties and similar events.
Eldon Ortlieb, president of the main contractors, Integrated Construction, notes that the concrete tilt-up building is built to the latest seismic standards and in the event of a major earthquake would be “one of the last buildings left standing.”
“It would serve as an emergency shelter after a disaster,” nodded Jamieson in agreement.
It also will serve as a base for the various community programs provided by the church’s Acts of Kindness (AOK) program, such as the Breakfast Club at Shortreed Elementary school, and “Extreme Home Repairs” performed on residences in the Aldergrove area.
AOK’s programs, such as the food pantry and clothing closet, occupy about 7,500 square feet of the church building.
There is also a smaller chapel, and a comfortable suite for guest speakers or families requiring emergency shelter.
“The AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meets here every Tuesday night at 7 p.m.,” said Jamieson.
“We are also planning on regular dinners with a doctor, a medical doctor who would give a health presentation and then talk to dinner guests on an individual basis.”
A large sports court with floor-to-ceiling windows faces onto Fraser Hwy., and this will provide the public opportunities to play basketball and similar games. There is a 30-foot climbing wall being finished next to the gym, and there are changing rooms with showers for sports users.
An observation deck overlooks the sports court and it provides a generous space for games and amateur musicians.
“We wanted to make it inclusive, with open space design, whether it be parents watching their kids play or teens hanging out, doing activities,” said Jamieson.
“The sports court and other parts are available for rent, at low rental rates for the community at large. We are also open to daycare, yoga classes, anything that serves the community’s health and wellbeing.”
The upper level also has several rooms devoted to classes for all age groups from children through teens to adults. The children’s wing accommodates 150 children.
Jamieson has seen the church grow over the 15 years he has served here, from about 250 attending sabbath services when he started, to about 550 today. He feels sure it will continue to grow as the church opens its arms to the community’s needs.
“We have four pastors, myself, associate pastor Michael Dauncey, children’s pastor Walter Rogers and youth worship leader, Joshua Jamieson, who is my son. We are also looking to hire a community development person for the AOK programs.”
The pastors and congregation invite the public to join them in celebrating the new church this weekend.
GRAND OPENING CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
Friday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m., “Connect Up” with speaker Dan Jackson
Saturday, Sept. 12, 11 a.m., Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Ceremony with speaker Dan Jackson, followed by Worship Service
• 12:30 p.m., Reception for dignitaries, special guests, and attendees
• 2:30 p.m., Tours of New Church Facility and Acts of Kindness Centre
• 7:30 p.m., Keepers of The Faith Concert ($20/ticket)
Monday, Sept. 14, noon start of AOK Charity Golf Classic, the primary fundraiser for AOK programs.