STOW: There was something curious about the Stow campus of Christ Community Chapel when it opened more than four years ago: It was located in Hudson.
On Sunday, that will change when the congregation officially opens its new 19,177-square-foot building at 3900 Kent Road.
“We are a Stow congregation, so it makes sense that we should be located in Stow,” said the Rev. Rick McKee, Stow campus pastor. “Our goal in being one church in many locations is to take the church to the people in their community instead of asking them to come to us.”
The Stow campus is one of four that make up the Hudson-based megachurch, which attracts more than 4,500 people each weekend. In addition to the Hudson and Stow locations, there are campuses in Aurora and Akron’s Highland Square neighborhood.
The Stow campus was launched in March 2009 with about 80 people from the Hudson site who lived in the Stow community. The group began meeting at Christ Community Chapel’s student ministry facility (called the Block) at 5374 Darrow Road in the southern portion of Hudson, with plans to move into Stow once a location could be secured.
After several years of searching, the congregation purchased 12 acres of land at 3900 Kent Road, near the Kent State University Airport, and broke ground last year.
McKee said he wanted the building to fit the personality of the congregation, which is made up primarily of young families.
“We are a church that loves being together. We’re very social, so we have a large (2,400-square-foot) atrium space where people can come together,” McKee said. “We are a place where people love to come and hate to leave. That could be a problem, if we can’t get people out of here in time to free up parking spaces for people who are coming to the second service. But it’s a good problem to have.”
The Stow church offers Sunday worship services at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Those services, which attract about 200 worshippers each, now will take place in the new 3,900-square-foot worship area. The versatile worship space has a seating capacity of 400, which allows the church to double the current number of worshippers before needing to add another service.
The church also serves about 150 children and has dedicated 8,900 square feet of the new building to children’s ministry.
The nursery area has one-way glass, so that parents can see their children but the children cannot see them. It is divided into two areas — for crawlers and for walkers. There is also an isolated nursing area for mothers.
Each of the four preschool rooms has two entrances: doors, which adults are expected to use, and bright yellow tube slides, which children are expected to use. The slide concept is to help ease the separation anxiety some children might experience.
The area called the Grid, which has bright orange squares in the carpeting, is for elementary school-age children. The multimedia area includes breakout rooms and can be divided to accommodate up to a dozen small groups.
The area called the Tank will be used for ministry activities for middle school-age children. The multipurpose room also will be used for classes and staff meetings.
The building includes a kitchen and office space. It is Christ Community Chapel’s first newly constructed building, since adopting the multi-campus concept in 2008. The Hudson-based church changed its name in 2011 from Hudson Community Chapel to Christ Community Chapel to reflect its expansion.
The Rev. Joe Coffey, Christ Community Chapel’s lead pastor, said the new building is a tool that will be used to help people connect with each other and ultimately to God.
“Our overall philosophy is to combine the strength of a large church with the intimacy and relationships that you can find in a small church. Our plan is to keep a campus to a maximum of 1,000 people before branching out to another community,” Coffey said. “Our goal is to impact and serve the communities where people are living. The building is a tool for our people in serving and reaching the community for Christ.”
An open house at 4 p.m. Sunday will give community members an opportunity to see the new building and learn more about the church.
“We have a new building, but we’re keeping the same message of grace, redemption and mercy at the forefront because people’s lives are being changed because of it,” McKee said. “We are a casual church. We want people to be culturally comfortable and spiritually challenged. We are not perfect people. We are messy people with baggage who are in the process of growing.”
More information about Christ Community Chapel can be found at www.ccchapel.com.