More in Religion:
- Winter shelter program kicks off with hot meals, lodging for homeless January 2, 2022
- Area church to host 10th annual holiday craft fair in Citrus Heights November 30, 2021
- Church gets green light for new building on Auburn Boulevard August 1, 2021
By Mike Hazlip—
After receiving the green light last July from the Citrus Heights Planning Commission to build a new 34,000-square-foot building across from Rusch Park, Pioneer Baptist Church has changed direction in favor of purchasing an existing church building in nearby Carmichael.
The church had originally planned to build on a 3.88-acre parcel at 7828 Auburn Blvd., but with rising construction costs and immediate needs for more room to fit his growing congregation, Pastor Kyle Conley said the church recently decided to change plans.
“We have indeed purchased another facility and made the tough decision to stop the 7828 Auburn Project in its current iteration,” Conley said in an email to The Sentinel on Saturday. The pastor said city officials have been “amazing to work with,” but noted the project was no longer economically feasible.
“What should have been a $4-6 million project is now in $8-10 million range,” Conley said. “As an independent congregation we do not have the backing of any denomination and we just don’t believe this is the best or wisest use of our financial resources.”
The church purchased an existing building for about a third of the cost, he said.
Additionally, the pastor cited growing church attendance as a second factor in making the decision to move to an existing facility.
“As things are today, even if it were financially feasible, due to material availability we would likely be 3-4 years away from a finished building,” he said. We have outgrown our current facility to the point where the ministry is being adversely affected, and, quite frankly, we feel like our parking issues are becoming a nuisance to the neighborhood.”
The church plans to move to a building formerly owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, located at 4252 Garfield Ave., about five minutes from their current location, according to Conley. For now, the congregation still meets at 7600 Old Auburn Rd.
As for the vacant property on Auburn Boulevard, Conley says he still wants to develop it.
“Hopefully, within the next few years, building costs will normalize and our congregation will be able to do something really special there,” he said. “I look forward to working with the City on that as well.”
The Planning Commission unanimously approved plans to allow Pioneer Baptist Church to move ahead with development during a July 2021 meeting, according to a previous report by The Sentinel.
Plans showed the facility would have included a 30-foot steeple and a sanctuary that could have held over 400 people. Plans included an auditorium, classrooms, a gymnasium, and space for a daycare to operate Monday-Friday.
The currently vacant site was once home to a topless bar, but the building was bulldozed after an active group of residents successfully helped drive the establishment out of business.
See prior story for more: Proposed future church site in Citrus Heights has not-so-holy past
Thanks for reading The Sentinel. You are either trying to access subscribers-only content or you have reached your limit of 5 free articles per 30 days. Click here to sign in or subscribe.