Just over a year since opening a branch in Ahwatukee out of Mountain Pointe High School, Central Christian church continues to grow, so much it’s opened its own facility.

Central Christian has taken over the space left empty by Adventure Community church at 48th Street and Chandler, 15920 S. 48th St.

Central Christian began hosting services out of Mountain Pointe High School in January of 2013. The agreement at that time was for a potential two-year lease to use the space on weekends, said Corey Bullock, Ahwatukee campus pastor.

“We developed real good relationships with them and it was possible we could have stayed there longer, but we started looking for our own space right from the beginning,” Bullock said. “The set up and tear down and only having five hours on Sunday is a difficult thing. We were looking for a 24/7 space from the beginning.”

Bullock said Central Christian had temporarily stopped its search in July when they got a call from Adventure, looking to get out of their lease. Central Christian was able to take over that space as well as two other suites, which they’ve built out to house meeting rooms and play rooms for the kids of the congregation.

Central Christian started with just over 270 people attending regular meetings in Ahwatukee. As of January of 2014 they were averaging 350 people on a weekend. Opening week at the new facility had nearly 700 people come out to show their support.

“Unfortunately, on a national average churches are kind of on a decline or on a plateau,” Bullock said. “We had about a 27 percent growth between last year and this year as a church campus. Having our own facility doesn’t define us but it’s certainly a better platform for us to, throughout the week, let people know we are here and we are available, as well as on the weekends. We look forward to an increase in attendance, but really an increase in effectiveness for our people.”

The church offers two services on Sunday mornings. In the new facility the main auditorium holds about 280 people. Bullock said the church is adjusting to its new space, but if it continues to grow at the same rate they may consider opening another service time in the fall.

Bullock said the key to the church’s success has been its willingness to be out in the community. They encourage their congregation to participate and volunteer in the community and at community events

“We just said if our community values these things and thinks they’re a good thing, we want to be a part of it and help serve,” he said.

Central Christian is a multi-site church. Ahwatukee is the fifth and newest site. Overall, the church has nearly 9,000 people who attend weekly services. The church is a non-denominational Christian church.

For more information, visit centralaz.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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