SAN ANGELO – As many churches struggled to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a religious institution in downtown San Angelo was implementing plans to expand its outreach to the community with a new development that aims to bring people together.
The First Christian Church on Oakes Street is just weeks away from the unveiling of a new outdoor space and a renovated indoor facility that church leaders hope will reinvigorate their downtown location and in will make a destination for years to come.
First Christian Church senior minister TJ Shoop-York said the new development had two main aspects. The first is a new outdoor space while the second is a recently renovated indoor facility.
“Two and a half years ago we went through a 40 day prayer process,” said Shoop-York. “We sought God’s guidance and felt that God was calling us to claim the downtown area as a location for our ministry. A few things emerged from this, the first was being the downtown backyard and using our space as a connection point for businesses and nonprofits in our community. They could come and use it as a gathering space or as a meeting space and as a place of fellowship, really anyway that we can be a gift for our community. “
According to Shoop-York, the primary purpose of the outdoor space is also to provide a place for people who attend nearby established institutions, such as employees of Shannon Medical Center, students of the Central High freshman campus. School and other downtown employees can come together and relax. .
The second main part of the development utilizes the space inside the First Christian Church and aims to provide better opportunities for further community outreach.
“The indoor spot called ‘The Table’ is really the heart of who we are,” said Shoop-York. “We wanted to create a massive gathering space where people can come and make these connections and have these relationships and fellowships. We believe that as a church it is our job to be a gift to the community and to us. think we can find a way to use our space by updating it to give the community a nice, upscale place to come and do whatever people can imagine doing. “
The development includes the new outdoor space named “The Backyard”, a new ministry space and pantry, the indoor space called “The Table”, a renovated sanctuary, a new chapel and another outdoor gathering space for celebrations. events and concerts.
The grand opening of the new developments is scheduled for November 21 at the First Christian Church located at 29. N. Oakes St. The event will include worship services at 9 am and 11 am with brunch served at 10 am.
Colin Murphey is a photojournalist covering everything going on in West Texas for the San Angelo Standard-Times. Send him a tip at [email protected] Consider supporting West Texas journalism with a subscription to GoSanAngelo.com.