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Published: Thursday, 9/4/2003

Church addition bolsters its followers

The new addition going up at the Pettisville Missionary Church will nearly triple its space. The new addition going up at the Pettisville Missionary Church will nearly triple its space.

PETTISVILLE - The Pettisville Missionary Church is about to get a lot bigger.

Workers are putting up steel girders for the 32,000-square-foot addition that will nearly triple the size of the church.

The church broke ground on the $2.7 million expansion and renovation project May 8 and expects to finish it in April. The McKnight Group from Grove City, Ohio, is building the expansion.

“I am tremendously excited,” said David Blue, associate pastor of congregational ministries. “It's something we've needed and dreamed of for a long time.”

Church members have long felt cramped in the 18,000-square-foot church built in 1970 and last expanded in 1989. The worship space was designed for about 400 people, so the 500 regular attendees are squeezed in it.

One of the church's youth leaders, Karen Burkholder, is glad the junior and senior high school students will have their own space to spread out and do activities.

“Right now the youth are in such a tiny spot,” she said.

The extension to the church building will have a multipurpose room seating about 615, seven classrooms, two large nurseries, 10 offices, a foyer, and kitchenThe old auditorium will be renovated for the youth group. The addition will be finished with bricks and stucco to match the church, although it will dwarf it in size, Mr. Blue said.

First chartered in 1907, the church has grown in the last eight years from about 350 regular attendees to about 500, although a few hundred more people consider it their home church, Mr. Blue said.

The addition was for church and community needs for the next 10 years. It will house up to 1,000.

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