BREAKING HOLY GROUND

Westmore Church of God launches Phase 2 of move

By ALLEN MINCEY
Posted 11/27/17

"We are standing in His presence on holy ground."That song ended the short service Sunday for Westmore Church of God, as the church members moved from their normal site of worship — on 25th Street …

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BREAKING HOLY GROUND

Westmore Church of God launches Phase 2 of move

Posted

"We are standing in His presence on holy ground."

That song ended the short service Sunday for Westmore Church of God, as the church members moved from their normal site of worship — on 25th Street at Wolfe Drive — to their new location off Candies Creek Road, on Legacy Parkway.

A couple of hundred members, from youngsters to the elderly, attended the special groundbreaking ceremony for Westmore Church of God Sunday. Senior Pastor Kelvin Page said he did not know how many would show up on the Thanksgiving holiday, and was impressed with the number who did come to the event.

"We really struggled with whether we need to do it today, because so many of our people are out of town," Page said following the groundbreaking. "But we are on an 18-month buyout, so we knew that we have to get this ball rolling."

The new site for the church will eventually replace the older structure. Less than two weeks ago it was announced that a buyer for Westmore’s Wolfe Drive property had been secured — local businessman Lynn Jones. The church is now leasing its former location during the 18-24-month construction period.

"Actually, he has said if it takes 24 months, he would continue to lease the property where we are located now," said Page, who added that Jones has since joined the church. Page himself has been pastor at the church for 17 1/2 years.

The new site for the multimillion dollar worship complex and ministry center is where Rolling Hills Golf Club was for many years.

Westmore acquired the former Rolling Hills property in 2006 with intentions to build a multigenerational, multiuse campus. After leasing back the course for its final year, infrastructure and roads were constructed in anticipation of church construction to follow. Legacy Parkway is the primary road that was built for access to the property.

 

Several parcels of the original 176 acres of Rolling Hills were sold, but have ultimately tied in with Westmore’s generational vision. Several years ago, 10 acres at the site of the previous golf property driving range of the golf course was sold to Legacy Senior Services, a local group whose corporate offices are now located in the former clubhouse on the property. On those 10 acres, LSS constructed Heritage Place, a community of townhomes for active seniors aged 55-plus.  Another nine acres was sold to LSS and is the site of the future Legacy Village,  currently under construction at the corner of Candies Lane and Legacy Parkway.

 

Rather than start by building the primary worship complex, the Westmore membership chose to pay down debt from the purchase of the property and to build a 16,000-square-foot youth center. Each required a capital campaign, in which church members generously pledged funds to accomplish the vision. The Element youth building was completed last year, and is located adjacent to the future church site.

 

“With the Element, Heritage Place, and Legacy Village, our inter-generational vision is clearer now more than ever,” Page related. “Legacy Senior Services has been an outstanding partner. We look forward to the interaction of the generations, which has already been realized with Heritage Place, but very soon with Legacy Village as well.


"It's about young people, children and seniors — the church should not be divided," he continued. "We work to keep our families together and we believe that has paid off and will continue to pay off."


Many of the youngsters at the groundbreaking were given the opportunity to turn the soil over with shovels themselves.  Adults who had been at the church since it began years ago were also in attendance, including Dr. James Beaty, who is also an ordained pastor, who remembered the groundbreaking of the present church 50 years ago.


"Today, another piece of history begins," said Beaty, who will turn 93 in January. "It is a very special thing that is happening, and we thank the Lord for that."


According to Page, the 53,000-square-foot ministry center will feature the latest environmental approaches to create both an aesthetic and community-focused footprint.

When completed, the center will feature a sanctuary to seat more than 1,000 worshipers, classrooms, offices, a large lobby/commons area, courtyard, and a fully functional children’s wing, featuring the latest in technology and security for children ages birth to fifth grade. The ministry center will be the nexus of a campus that will expand Westmore's ability to positively affect its community, region, and the world by expanding its ministries in every area on one campus.

"We will have a foundation service where we will recognize the fathers of the church congregation and development of the church, and then, in 18 months or so, with the approval of the city of Cleveland, have a 'walkover' from the Wolfe Drive location to this new center," Page said.


Several members of Cleveland government attended the groundbreaking, as did County Commissioners Robert Rominger and Bill Winters. Winters is a member of the church.


"We think that the Lord has given us a perfect spot for Westmore," Page said.

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