Downtown revival seen in new church

A spiritual and financial revival of sorts may be seen in downtown Chilliwack as the Promontory Community Church takes up residence in the Liquidation World building on Main Street.

A spiritual and financial revival of sorts may be seen in downtown Chilliwack as the Promontory Community Church takes up residence in the Liquidation World building on Main Street.

The church hopes to move its main services from its present location at the Promontory Heights community school to the downtown site by March.

But services will be offered in both locations, John Vermeer, the church’s executive director, confirmed Friday.

Vermeer is also a member of the city’s downtown core task force.

“Downtown is far from dead,” he said, but it’s hoped the church at the corner of Main Street and Princess Avenue will help draw more people to the area and “revive it to heights we’ve never imagined.”

There is no financial connection between the church and Liquidation World. The church will occupy 10,000 square feet of the 57,000 square-foot building, and lease the remainder to Liquidation World under terms of a purchase agreement reached in October.

Most of the church’s congregation live outside the Promontory area, some of them coming from as far away as Abbotsford.

Vermeer said the church started looking for a “permanent place” several years ago, after its membership outgrew the capacity of the school location.

He said a raw land development costing millions of dollars was “not in keeping” with the church’s vision.

“We want to use our money for people … for changing lives,” he said.

When the church saw the Liquidation World building up for sale, he said negotiations started for the site as a potential purchase for re-development.

The downtown could use some spiritual and financial help, he agreed.

“That’s a whole area that could use some help,” he said, adding he believed downtown residents will find appealing the church’s informal dress and the “Kids’ City” ministry that will be going into a building next door to the church.