– Wednesday, April 30, 1997, 3G
By Rebekah Gleaves
MOUNT JULIET – A church is not just a building; it’s the people in the building.
But when the people outgrow the building, changes need to be made.
Mount Juliet Church of Christ is experiencing enough growth to need a $1.75 million addition.
Steve Hale, the church’s evangelist, attributes the growth to the church’s involvement in the community.
“The community has been very good to us, so we try to be good to them,” Hale said. “It’s been a good relationship. Mount Juliet is really booming.
We’re excited about reaching out into the community, especially to people who are just moving in.”
The church has something to offer members of all ages. Associate Minister Joey Davis said the new auditorium will be fully handicapped-accessible, and include special headsets for the hearing impaired and a giant screen over the pulpit to help outline the sermon for the congregation.
The church also offers programs for teens, pre-teens and preschoolers. The church offers a preschool program two days a week and a leadership program to prepare young men for the ministry.
“One of the keys to growth is our friendly congregation,” Hale said.
“We’ve got a real sweet spirit; that’s one of the keys.” The addition to the church at 1940 Mount Juliet Road will include offices and nursery rooms as well as an auditorium that will seat close to 1000 people.
The new annex should be completed by August [’97]. The old auditorium will be converted into a fellowship hall complete with a restaurant-style Kitchen.
Hale, who has been with the church since February 1988, is originally from Livingston, Tenn. He came to Mount Juliet with his wife, Cindy, to lead the 270-member congregation.
“Church growth comes from God, 1 Corinthians 3:6-8. God causes the increase. We’re growing and praise be to God for it,” Hale said.
Hale said the largest demographic segment of the church is young married couples with young children.
“We had 20-something babies last Sunday. That’s a lot of little ones
running around,” Hale said.
The church, with Sunday attendance of about 570, has been meeting in the existing building since 1979. It has existed as a church since 1890.