November 27, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
33°F

Permanent home found for Heartland church

MEDINA TWP. — Heartland Community Church will never have to load up, unload, set up, tear down, load up and unload again.
Heartland no longer is a “portable” church.

The church now has a permanent home at 3400 Weymouth Road and will open its doors to the public with a service at 10 a.m. June 26.

“We are beyond ecstatic to finally have a home and to be able to open the doors to the public next Sunday,” said Terry Holley, pastor of Heartland. “We’re pumped to have gotten past 14 years of tearing up and tearing down to have a permanent place for us to all be together.”

Holley, founder of the church, planted the seed for a permanent home on Sept. 14, 1997. Since then, Holley has held church activities, including youth group and Sunday services, at two locations — Williams on the Lake and Medina High School. But when a Medina Schools levy failed in November 2009 and the cost to rent space rose as a result, Holley said he knew it was time to make a change.

“When the rent went up at the high school, we were unable to afford the space. It was a culmination of renting office space downtown, space for the youth program, and for the services themselves,” Holley said. “Just for services, we were spending two hours setting up, an hour for the actual service, and an hour for the teardown. It just wasn’t practical anymore, and we decided it was the right time to build.”

Holley and his church community discovered, however, it was not the best time to try to get a loan.

“Because of the failing economy, we were forced to go back to the drawing board with the architect and downsize our original plan,” Holley said. “We were able to make some adjustments within the project that everyone was happy with, and a lender within our association stepped up and loaned the church $1.5 million. It really is a beautiful building, and I don’t think we could be any happier with it.”

Church members also stepped up to the pew, contributing just less than $1 million.

“The church community was fantastic through our efforts of making this permanent home,” Holley said. “We asked them to make the sacrifices to make this happen, and they prevailed. That’s how we got here — the people.”

The 15,000-square-foot building sits on 42 acres and cost a total of $2.3 million. Construction began on July 8, 2010, and was finished June 1.

“We’ve had what we call a ‘soft opening.’ That gives us an opportunity to have the people of our church inside to work through the glitches and the problems that will for sure surface at some point,” Holley said. “It’s given us an opportunity to figure out our sound, video and layout of the building, and for members of the church to come together and celebrate what we’ve accomplished. But next Sunday we’ll be ready for the public to attend.”

He added: “Our ‘slogan’ is ‘because you matter to God,’ but our goal is to have a culture here. If you gave up on church, but not on the spirit of God, then this is the church for you. We want to be Medina’s church for the un-churched and completely authentic. We hope to be a relevant presence in Medina and beyond, and we hope to see the community next Sunday to open the doors with us.”

For information, call (330) 725-1948 or visit www.heartlandcommunity.org.

Contact Dani Orr at (330) 721-4049 or dorr@medina-gazette.com.