If the symbol for growth on the Strip is the crane, then the suburbs’ version is construction fencing.
Behind the canvas-covered barrier at 120 N. Pavilion Center Drive, Desert Spring United Methodist Church has broken ground on the newest building to its complex. Its main component is a new sanctuary.
Pastor David Devereaux has led the church for the past four years and seen it grow from 400 to roughly 700 members.
“We’ve outgrown all our facilities,” he said. “The (current) sanctuary is used as a multipurpose space and heavily utilized. It seems as though we’re setting up chairs and breaking them down over and over again.”
Over the past four years, all while raising the funds and developing plans for the new sanctuary, the current one was remodeled to allow an additional 70 seats. That brought the seating up to 425 people, but it did so uncomfortably, the pastor noted.
Plans show that the new sanctuary will be pie-shaped and will accommodate 630 people. It is being constructed north of the current building on the roughly 4.3-acre site. SR Construction is the general contractor. When complete, including furnishings and equipment, the project comes with a price tag estimated at $3.3 million.
It’s well worth the expense, church officials said, especially as it accommodates outside groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous, the Boy Scouts, grief support and caregivers groups and Korean as a first language classes. The latter is a natural extension of services, as the building is also used by the Korean community’s A Grain Of Mustard Seed Fellowship, which is also a United Methodist Church.
The many social groups that meet at the church are in addition to Desert Spring’s own worship and study groups, its numerous music groups and community service programs.
The first phase of construction will concentrate on the sanctuary. The second phase will include seven Sunday school rooms.
Congregation member Judith Letterer said she has seen the church grow 20 percent in the three years she has been there.
“The service that’s really crowded is the 9:30 (a.m.) service,” she said. “We think more people will come as we redesign it … We have over 100 kids who come for communion. I think the bigger place will bring in more children because we’re right across the street from the middle school.”
She spoke of Sig Rogich Middle School, 235 N. Pavilion Center Drive. Palo Verde High School is also nearby.
The space between the current facilities and the new sanctuary will one day see additional Sunday School rooms that connect the buildings. There is no timeline set for that future addition.
Devereaux has told the congregation that the new sanctuary will be completed in eight months.
“He keeps telling us, it’ll be done in time for Christmas,” said Joy Saville, member. “He’s sure about that.”
Devereaux said that by the time the church attains its 1,000th member, some worshipers will break away to form their own church in the northern part of the city.
“The nicest part is not just about having a sanctuary and more seats,” he said, “it’s about (striving toward a) bigger dream as we continue to grow.”
Contact Summerlin/Summerlin South View reporter Jan Hogan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 387-2949.