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College Church Renovations

College Church is undergoing renovations, creating an updated space for fellowship and opportunities to serve both Olivet students and the community.

“I’m really excited about what it looks like. It’s iconic and I think it says welcome,” says Dr. Mark Quanstrom, head pastor at College Church.

Outdoor renovations include replacing the circle drive with a cross-shaped sidewalk, illuminating the glass walls in front, and a new main entrance.

“I think the visual changes make it feel more welcoming,” says Dr. McGrady, a member of College Church and co-director of the college ministry 1825. “It’s a nice first impression.”

The renovations to College Church also make the building more accessible by eliminating the need for steps or an elevator to get into the main sanctuary.

According to Dr. Mark Quanstrom, the main reasons for the renovations are to “encourage community engagement,” “increase fellowship,” and “better traffic flow between two services.” This is being achieved by connecting the three separate seating areas to a main gathering place with foyers. 

The first part of the renovation plan, an improved cafe and kitchen, has already been completed. Each week, the cafe gives out over 1,000 cups of coffee to college students.

“It’s a ministry to the college campus,” says Joanna Alvord, a Senior who has attended College Church for four years. In addition to the congregation, College Church is “for the students at ONU” states Alvord. Students can use College Church to hang out or do homework together. According to Alvord, the renovations “help them grow as a congregation.”

A new Kids' Land in lower level College Church, with updated security, is also in progress. One of the two new interior courtyards in College Church will have a children’s play area too.

While the new renovations will improve the look, function, and community of College Church, it’s the individuals in the church that matter.

“I really love the way they are focused on taking care of their people. It’s a warm, welcoming place. People seem real and are good to each other,” Dr. McGrady says.

Solomon Jothi adds, “I love the church family. As an international student, they have really adopted me. It’s more than just a Sunday thing.” 

The additional space from renovations will help people feel safer during COVID-19, though planning for the renovations began five years ago. Three years ago, College Church started raising funding and met 85 percent of their goal.

Renovations are scheduled to be completed by March 1, 2021. 

Renovations continue on the building of college church on 8/21/20. (Emma Wierenga)

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