DeKALB – When Jamie Page first started The Church in DeKalb, he delivered an Easter sermon in front of 60 people – mostly family and friends – in the House Cafe.
Now, as the pastor prepares to deliver his fifth Easter sermon in his fourth different building, he is glad his growing congregation has a place to call home for years to come. The Church in DeKalb recently moved into the old Kishwaukee Bible Church location on 425 Fisk Road in DeKalb.
The new location, featuring traditional church qualities such as high ceilings and stained glass windows, is in stark contrast with the building on First Street the congregation shared with community kitchen organization Feed’em Soup.
Page said the usable space is about the same as the old location, but owning a building is symbolic of the long-term commitment the congregation has to the community.
“This is going to be a place we are going to be for a long time,” Page said. “We’re not as focused on growing as we are inspiring people to go out and start their own churches.”
The sanctuary can to seat 180 people, Page said, and is large enough with the basement to provide space for the children’s ministry.
The biggest challenge, he said, would be adjusting to the new setup.
Instead of gathering in a semi-circle as they did at the old location, members are sitting in pews aligned in the more traditional vertical setup.
“You lose some of that connection,” Page said of the new layout. “It takes some getting used to to see people extending toward the back of the church.”
After the first service was held there Sunday, Page said he is excited for Easter Sunday and hopes to attract some residents who have not been to the church or attend church often.
He said the services, at 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m., would focus on the idea of the life that Jesus lived is the life that Jesus offers.
“We’re not really a churchy church,” Page said. “We don’t want people to be intimidated just because we are in a more traditional building.”
The Church of DeKalb’s old location will now be fully occupied by Feed’em Soup. Page said the congregation worked closely with the organization during its time there and hoped to continue supporting them in the future.
Page said the outreach is part of the church’s continuing goal to focus on community and expanding throughout the county.
“We love the new building but we’re not a building centric church,” he said. “It’s about a community of people and being part of that community.”