Continued growth in membership at Life Point Church of Portsmouth over the last two years has made securing more space not a option, but an immediate need. The transition from the present location of Portsmouth 8 Cinemas, to their own 12,000 foot facility is currently underway.
Since 2014, Life Point has been conducting their services at Portsmouth 8 Cinemas. Recently, the church acquired a new location of 1644 11 Street in Portsmouth, the former location for Area Agency on Aging. EFlow Development Group of Portsmouth is doing the renovations for Life Point. Pastor Darrell Nickles said the journey has exceeded their expectations.
“It has been a ride, it really has been beyond anything that we expected when we moved back here to start. We have been looking for a location for over a year.Our problem there is that we’re so crowded, so hopefully we will have some space and some room to grow,” Nickles said. “And then the other benefit here is that we can add another service, whereas at the theater we have to be out, so they can start movies.”So that is probably in our future plans to add third service if we continue to grow like we have.”
Once completed, Life Point will have a contemporary design and layout of their worship center.
“Neal Hatcher is the owner of this building, and he has been very generous, very kind to us. Our Worship Center is not going to look like a traditional church. It is going to have more of a contemporary look, more of a concert venue appearance,” Nickles said. “We will have chairs instead of pews, with a full, live band just as we have at the theater. Here is what we say, Life Point is not for everyone, and we get that, we’re fine with that. We don’t feel like there are a lot of options here in Portsmouth for a contemporary service, and for a contemporary feel, and we just think that is one of the ways to reach people. There are people who may want a more traditional feel, and there are churches for them. We feel like there is a wide base of un-churched people that will be attracted to our type of service, and our type of music, and that is who we are going after. So we are building a facility that will help those people feel welcome.”
Justin Clark, a church leader at Life Point, along with Pastor Darrell Nickles, and Randy Nickles, said the new facility will seat approximately 400 people.
“The building that we are renovating was previously an office building, and we were able to turn it into an auditorium for our weekend worship services, and the auditorium will seat about 400 people when we’re done,” Clark said. “Along with the auditorium we are also going to have age appropriate classrooms for children all the way up to the fifth grade.”
Clark said it will be a blessing to have their own building.
“We are in a setting right now where we have to set up, and tear down every Sunday morning in the movie theater, and it will be really nice, a real blessing for our folks to have a permanent location, and more appropriate stations to continue to meet the need for the children we have,” Clark said. We have over 100 kids coming on a Sunday, so we will have age appropriate places to provide lessons and activities ultimately in an environment where we can cultivate those relationships is really exciting for us. The duration at Portsmouth 8 Cinema movie theater has been great, and has served our church wonderfully,” Clark said. “I am sure that is a barrier for some folks in coming to church in a setting that is so non-traditional, and unorthodox, and will hopefully be an opportunity for us to reach even more folks through Life Point as well.”
Life Point Church’s goal is to have their first service at their location on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, according to Nickles.
“Right now our goal is to have our first service in here the first Sunday in December, but we’re hoping to be ahead of schedule,” Nickles said. “So, more details to come as construction moves along, but everything is going great right now.”
In the mean time, Life Point Church services are still taking place at Portsmouth 8 Cinemas Sundays for two identical services at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-464-3862, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.