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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2012 5 years ago

New Tomoka Christian Church breaks ground on Hand Avenue

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The church’s congregation donated $3.5 million in three years to buy the new property. Another fundraiser will kick off next month, for building expenses.

BY MIKE CAVALIERE | ASSOCIATE EDITOR

City, state and church officials gathered Sept. 4, to plunge their shovels into the earth and celebrate the breaking of ground at Tomoka Christian Church’s new house of worship, at 1450 Hand Ave.

The occasion marked the end of a seven-year wait for the church, which purchased the land in 2005, from St. James Episcopal Church. Through a three-year fundraising drive, called “Open the Gates,” Tomoka collected $3.5 million from its congregation. Next month, another drive, called “Let it Rise,” will begin, to collect another $4 million to cover construction costs.

The new facility, down the road from Tomoka’s current located, at 1151 W Granada, is scheduled for completion within two years, according to Cindi Hunnefeld, communications director. It will have a food pantry, chapel for weddings, funerals and other ceremonies, a children’s/teen ministry service and classrooms.

Set on 23 acres of land, the property is roughly five times larger than that of Tomoka’s current location.

“Our new building will allow us to see even more souls saved,” Senior Pastor Joe Putting wrote in an online newsletter. He added that the extra space — the new auditorium will be able to sit 1,000 people — will allow Tomoka Christian to grow to 10,000-plus members.

Tomoka Christian Church held its first service, on Granada Boulevard, in January 1971.

For more, call 677-6455, or visit http://www.tomoka.cc.

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