The $1.5 million renovation was done debt-free, thanks to support from the church's membership.
Bright colors. A playground. Dedicated classroom spaces. A brand new theater space.
Calvary Christian Center completed its $1.5 million renovation of its Kids Center last fall, and on Saturday, May 29, the church is finally celebrating its grand opening. Where there once stood a large open space with a stage, the church's former sanctuary, has been evolved into a space to better suit the church's purpose.
“We just wanted to have a building that looked like it was made for kids," said Jennifer Woods, Calvary Kids pastor.
The project was a long time coming. The kids center was moved to the current building in 2010 when the new sanctuary was built, and Woods said they were thinking about renovating the building back then. But it wasn't until four years ago that they began the process. The church broke ground on October 2019.
And then came 2020. Woods said there were a lot of question marks regarding the pandemic, but the church already had the money for the project lined up. Members had pledged funds in the beginning of the year and remained supportive.
"Our pastor said this is something that we know that we’re supposed to do," Woods said. Calvary's pastor is Jim Raley.
With the support in place, Calvary was able to complete construction in October 2020, and did so debt-free. Only the indoor playground and cafe didn't open at that time due to COVID-19, which is why the church decided to wait to celebrate the center's grand opening. The children are excited, Woods said, since they walk past the indoor playground every Sunday.
Having dedicated classroom spaces has helped with the ministry portion as well, she added. It adds a more intimate learning environment and lessens distractions.
Children, including Wood's own, have a hard time going home every Sunday, she said. That's how she knows they've achieved their purpose: building a space that the kids are safe, having fun and can grow their relationship with God.
“We can only say, ‘Look what God has done,’ because there’s so many challenges that came with 2020," Woods said. "But it really brought hope that you could see something beautiful happening in the midst of a lot of crazy things happening.”
The center is open to the public for community and private events. Visit calvaryfl.com