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BY ERIC MANN
New Hope Church now has new quarters.
The nondenominational church founded in December of 2006 had held worship services since that time in a former business location at Village Green Shopping Center, but recently made a big move by buying the buildings at the former Grey Goose Golf Club here, plus seven and a half acres of land on that site.
Pastor Kevin August, who came here in March of 2009 to head the congregation, said the 16,000-square-foot, two-level former clubhouse, reception hall, office structure is being remodeled from top to bottom to make it into a church, with a multitude of offerings to the community.
August, a native of Ohio who came from a larger church in suburban Chicago, said New Hope Church has around 150 members and the Village Green site held only about 120 seats. The new sanctuary, even with a stage added, will seat 240, he says.
The church's last service at Village Green was on November 28 and the first in the new worship center will be this Sunday at 10 a.m., an hour after a 9 a.m. cafe and fellowship period that is held every Sunday.
The church also has a Bible study meeting, called Bible Quest, at 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday.
Rev. August said the full renovation of Grey Goose into New Hope will not be completed until February, at which time the church will hold an open house for the public. At present, he added, up to 30 people from the church are helping make the conversion by working at night.
He said the move to purchase a large part of the bankrupt golf course came from one of the three Decatur men who bought Grey Goose after it failed financially: Josh Krueckeberg, an auctioneer who attends New Hope. The other buyers are businessmen Greg Fleming and Dan Evans.
August said the church will have the following:
• The worship center where the reception hall used to be, with a large adjacent outdoor wooden deck. The worship center has chandeliers and a screen and a projector.
• A nursery off the hallway leading to the worship center.
• Space on the lower floor for youth activities and a kids' ministry where golf carts used to be parked indoors.
• A library and a prayer room where the large kitchen was.
• A smaller kitchen will be created.
• A lobby at the west side, where the golf pro shop and an snack bar once were located.
• Various offices and storage rooms.
The pastor noted that, since the site had been a golf course, there are showers in the downstairs men's and women's restrooms, so that will help youth get cleaned up after their activities.
He and his wife, Laura, a registered nurse at Adams Memorial Hospital, have two children: Kyle, 21, who is attending Judson University in Illinois to become a youth pastor, and Alyssa, 19, studying at Purdue University to be a veterinarian.