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Former Odessa bar to be renovated as church - Odessa American: Religion

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Former Odessa bar to be renovated as church

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Posted: Sunday, March 13, 2016 6:30 am

The largest bar in Odessa will now become one of the largest churches in Odessa.

Following a $3 million facelift to the exterior of the former Graham Central Station, members of the Midland-based Stonegate Fellowship Church said they are hoping they can have the large venue open by Christmas or by the end of this year to better accommodate its growing congregation, said David McReynolds, operations pastor for the church. aren’t they also doing interior?

The renovation is expected to start Monday, said Chad Bullard, campus pastor for Odessa.

Currently, congregants go to Bonham Junior High for Stonegate’s Christian service in Odessa. By having a local church here Stonegate would be better able to house up to 400 people for its Sunday services, along with a separate facility for children, McReynolds said.

“We’re looking for a body and place to (call) home,” he said. “We needed a building.”

The new Stonegate Fellowship church, 4240 Preston Smith Road, was bought by the church for $3 million and has 35,000 square-feet of space. The one-story building housed the popular Graham Central Station for the past 18 years but is expected to undergo an extensive renovation that would include taking down the bar’s mural, McReynolds said.

“It’ll probably be torn down. It’s not something we’re going to use,” he said of the exterior art piece. “It’s huge. It’s 25 or 30 feet high. It was built into the building.”

Stonegate Fellowship has experienced substantial growth during its 17 year history. While some congregants head for the junior high school for Sunday service there a number of other members who travel 15 miles to Midland to participate in services there, McReynolds said.

Once the Christian church’s doors open it would start off with two hour-long Sunday services, one at 9 a.m. and another by 10:30 a.m. so as to accommodate as many as 700 congregants, Bullard said.

“I would like to go there” and have another hour-long service starting at noon, Bullard said. “That’s our goal.”

Another goal Bullard spoke of was to have the church grow by leaps and bounds.

“That’s what we’re hoping,” Bullard said. “We’re hoping for growth. We’re hoping that (the church) does grow.”

The renovation slated for the new Stonegate church would include many improvements like re-texturing much of the interior, Bullard said.

“The whole thing will look totally different,” he said.

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