The Bridge readies its new home
The Bridge in Allegan is readying the building at 247 N. Main St. to be used as the new base of operations for the church.
The building formerly housed Main Street Ministries and Living Word Family Church.
Pastor Roger Bird said Living Word Family Church has decided to move towards a house model for worship and suggested the building be offered to The Bridge as the two are in the same denomination.
The Reformed Church of America offered the building for sale and the church turned them down. The building was then offered as a gift.
“It’s kind of funny because we always said we would never own a building,” Bird said. “But I don’t know how we would turn down free.”
The church began nearly six years ago, meeting in Allegan High School. Once the high school renovations began, the group began meeting in the middle school before being approached by the City of Allegan to rent Griswold Auditorium.
“We started at the Griswold April 1, thinking we would be there for some time, and then we were offered this building,” said Bird. “We are moving again but are hoping and praying this is the last move we have for a long, long time.”
The building is currently undergoing renovations to make it a better fit for The Bridge. In the meeting room the stage is being removed, the back wall knocked down and the lighting changed to give it a more modern feel.
“We are not a very traditional church,” said Bird. “We want the space to reflect us.”
He said the building is a great base of operations.
“From the beginning we wanted to serve in Allegan,” he said. “We thought this was such a great opportunity to be a blessing to the community.”
Before renovations are complete, the church’s 20 Days of Worship event begins Aug. 4, and will take place Monday through Friday in August.
Bird said, “It is a very brief time of worship and prayer—from 6 to 6:30 p.m.—to thank God and the community.”
He said the location of the event is yet to be determined.
The month-long event will lead up to, and continue after, Aug. 24—the first official Sunday in the building.
The lower level of the building will house programs run by the church.
Bird said a group is already in place for families who have been affected by incarceration or drug addiction.
“It’s about helping to overcome stereotypes and work together,” he said.
The Bridge has a healthy living group that promotes eating right and exercising. Bird said the group will offer some group exercise times in the new building.
“Body, mind and spirit is all connected,” he said. “A healthy body is important.”
Having a building will assist with the church’s 5th Sunday program—serving the community on the quarterly Sunday rather than have a worship service.
“One of the things we emphasize as we talk with people is (the new building) is not the church,” Bird said. “We (the people) are the church. This is the Bridge building and it will be a tool to help the church to what we were called to do—help people.”
For more information about The Bridge of Allegan, visit www.thebridgeinallegan.com.