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Monday, July 22, 2024

Divine Renovation

As a territory sales manager at a large consumer goods company, Jeff Kinkade answered countless calls, but shortly after being relocated to Dallas for work, he accepted a different calling that caused him to leave the marketplace — he began a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

After serving as lead pastor of a Rowlett, Texas, church for 16 years, he received a phone call in 2012 from Christian Fellowship Church on the North Side of Evansville asking if he would come there to pastor.

The pairing of church and pastor wasn’t a great fit and a group of parishioners asked him if he would be willing to start a new church with them. He eventually agreed and City Church began meeting in 2013 at Old National Events Plaza.

Last summer, the church bought the former St. John’s United Church of Christ building and celebrated its grand opening on Feb. 21 after completing a little more than $1 million in renovations to the building’s first floor.

What inspired the design of the renovations?
What we wanted to do was keep the historical nature of the room but we wanted to make it modern feeling. We kept the idea of pews and stained glass windows because we thought it fit the tradition of the building, but we tried to make it modern feeling. Back in the back, we put in pub seating so when people come in, if they don’t feel comfortable sitting in pews or they didn’t want to go up to the front, they can sit back there. People love to sit back there.

Did you hear any feedback during the grand opening?
We invited the people we bought the church from and we gave them a tour of the building, honored them in the service, and all the feedback we got from them was really positive. People seem to really love what we’ve done. The mayor and his wife were here and they seemed very complimentary.

How were the renovations funded?
We raised about half of it from people in the church, and they were unbelievably generous. For a church that’s two-and-a-half years old to be able to buy a building, renovate it, and do what we’ve done is really unusual. Most of the time, you’re probably talking eight to 10 years before a church could get to this place.

What is the goal of City Church?
We have people from all walks of life here — people who’ve grown up in church and people who’ve never been in church before. We’ve got old people, we’ve got young people, we’ve got people of means, and people of no means. That’s kind of what we wanted. We wanted a church that’s very diverse.

For more information about City Church, call 812-962-9349 or visit citychurchevv.com.

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