Construction forces a Rockford church to find a new place to offer Sunday services. Church leaders hope the move doesn't force members to lose faith.
The Banner of Truth International Church held it's last service at the West State Street location on Sunday, April 28th.
The next time members will get to worship at that place will be in November, when road work is finished.
"Change is a part of life and we need to get in front of that change and make it as positive as possible and move forward," says Rev. Mark Williams, Banner of Truth International Church President.
The church is temporarily moving its Sunday services across town, to the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford campus
Much of the Banner of Truth congregation already travels from outside of Rockford for mass. Reverend Mark Williams says they shouldn't have any problems getting to the new location. "It will be easier to be in the new location because we won't have to navigate around so much detours and such."
But worshipers who take public transportation may have a more difficult time traveling to UIC.
Rev. Mark Williams says, "I'm not so certain that there is a bus that gets them exactly to the school facility that we're using."
But church leaders are trying to stay positive about the move. "Based on what the city has said, and the plans, we believe that when we come back to our location that it will be a beautiful landscape and a beautiful place to be and so we've been sharing that with our people and they're really encouraged by that," says Rev. Philip Williams, Banner of Truth International Church Pastor
The church is also home to the Joyner Neighborhood Resource Center, which offers services ranging from job searches, to family advocacy.
"We're placed right in the middle of a neighborhood that's disproportionately affected by crime and poverty, and we need to help the neighborhood get up and out of this,"says Rev. John Evans, Joyner Neighborhood Resource Center Director.
Because of their relationship with the residents, center leaders have decided they will stay open during construction. "It's not without it's challenges with the project," says Rev. Evans. "But I've never heard discussions about ever thinking about 'Well we're just going to leave the area."
The church is also taking this down time to do a little construction of its own, repairing damage to one of the pillars on the exterior of the building.
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