There are also accessibility challenges in the current building such as a steep, narrow stairway down to the fellowship hall. It can’t accommodate large events such as visiting choirs. (Right now, it’s holding a combination of indoor and parking lot services due to COVID-19 precautions against large group gatherings.)
“The facility has some challenges that we have to deal with,” Soft said.
The main building at 16807 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd. was constructed in 1930, the school in 1980 and a house on-site was built in 1974. Soft heard that back in the day congregants used to ride horses to the rural church. Now, the county is growing up around it with busy Northeast 162nd Avenue just to the west.
Marlene Laddusaw, the church’s board secretary, described Fourth Plain Church of the Nazarene as a small but active church with about 150 to 200 churchgoers.
“We’re excited and really blessed to be able to use the property we have to build a new church,” Laddusaw said. “It’s new territory, but I think we’re up to the challenge.”
She sees the project as an opportunity to reach more people.
Soft said the church has been sitting on the land for a while, the previous lead pastor having dismissed the idea of selling land. But the conversation about selling land started back up a couple of years ago and — with the help of churchgoers who work in real estate — Soft said they hope to “maximize what the Lord provided to the church.”
He imagines it’ll be a couple of years before breaking ground on anything.