by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Walking by Faith Ministry Church has purchased property for a new church, and work is beginning to build a church of their own.

The congregation presently meets for Sunday services in the chapel of Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church, but at the end of April, will move to Crown Point Elementary School in Matthews, holding their first service there on May 5. The move is an effort to be closer to the community they serve, and the community where their new church building will be.

Church members will be canvassing the neighborhood and sending out postcards prior to that first Sunday service at Crown Point.

The church was established in 2004, and today consists of around 80 members, led by Pastor Alvin Denson, retired Army and director of ROTC at Mallard Creek.

The 5.5-acre lot purchased by the church is at the corner of Sam Newell and Rice roads in Mint Hill, and was bought at foreclosure for $42,000, while market price estimates closer to $300,000, according to Larry Miller, vice president and business manager, as well as deacon for the church.

Currently, plans are to build a family life center first, with sanctuary capable of housing around 200, classrooms, offices, and cafeteria. An outdoor picnic shelter is also in the works, a covered, all-purpose concrete pavilion.

Tentative plans are for a 12–14,000 square-foot sanctuary space, according to Miller, and a 5,000 square-foot family life center.

While the plans aren’t calling for a large building, Miller says the size is appropriate for the small ministry.

“We’re a young ministry, and we have to crawl before we can walk,” Miller said.

General contractors MCT, of Monroe, have been hired by the church to construct their new facilities. MCT has extensive experience in building community churches across Mecklenburg and Union counties and are currently working on plans for the Walking by Faith Church.

Building is set to begin sometime next year, but there is no solid schedule at the moment and engineering and financial work still needs to be done.