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Published: Wednesday, 1/30/2008

Holland-Springfield Township Timberlake Church seeks to start community center

Timberlake Community Church, now in a strip mall at 1007 McCord Rd., is looking for about 15,000 square feet for the church as well as for a community center. Timberlake Community Church, now in a strip mall at 1007 McCord Rd., is looking for about 15,000 square feet for the church as well as for a community center.

The Rev. Brad Adams has ambitious plans for the Holland-Springfield Township community.

Mr. Adams, pastor of Timberlake Community Church, intends to establish a community center somewhere near his church's current location in a strip mall at 1007 McCord Rd. by the end of the year.

He and church officials are looking for a building to buy. Mr. Adams said they need about 15,000 square feet, enough to accommodate the community center and the church, which would be relocated.

"We want to stay in the area," Mr. Adams said. "This is where we started, and we feel this is our community. We've been at Springfield High School or here at our current location. We're doing this because we're part of the community and want to address the needs of the community."

During the 1990s, Timberlake held its Sunday worship services in the high school, paying the school district about $1,200 a month to rent the space for four hours Sunday mornings. The church moved to its McCord Road location, six blocks away, in 2002.

The new community center, Mr. Adams said, would be run separately by a nonprofit operation.

It would offer classes in such areas as personal finance, parenting, applying for a job, and addictions, he said, adding, "We're dealing with the spiritual, but people have all these other things going on too."

The community center also would have a food and clothing pantry, a gym and recreation area, and office space.

"We're going to happen to meet there for church. We're going to happen to have our sanctuary there. But it's going to be for the community," he said.

Mr. Adams, who has been pastor since 1999, said Timberlake has approval for a $500,000 loan and a $94,000 grant from the Churches of God, with which it is affiliated.

He said that once the church was in its new building, he expected the overhead to drop, mostly because it won't be paying the $4,800 in monthly rent it now pays.

Holland Mayor Mike Yunker said he favored the pastor's plan.

"Anytime you have an organization providing these services, it benefits the community," Mr. Yunker said. "There are a lot of people who need them."

Mr. Adams said the 200 members of his congregation were mostly working people of modest means living outside the Holland-Springfield Township area. They would do most of the renovations on the new building.

The church has accumulated a reserve fund of $7,000 to draw on during the transition period between the purchase of the new building and moving out of the old one, when it will be making rent and mortgage payments, Mr. Adams said.

He acknowledged that his schedule was ambitious.

"I'd like to have the building up and running by now," he said. "My time frame is different from God's."

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