TWINSBURG -- The former Pinnacle Sports building has a new owner.
After renting space for its first 13 years at R.B. Chamberlin Middle School, Destiny Church purchased the 54,000-square-foot building, at 9550 Ravenna Road, this past fall.
"We had our first service Christmas Day," said Pastor Trent Thomas. The church celebrated its 13th anniversary March 12.
The purchase launched "a unique and exciting opportunity," said Jennifer Goings Smith, marketing committee chair for Destiny Church.
"Our vision is to intersect culture by redeeming secular space with the goal of engaging the 150,000 people in our four-county area with repeated opportunities to see, hear and respond to the good news of Jesus Christ," said Smith. "We strive to build better families by providing activities and services that meet the holistic needs of the families within our community. We want to do this by serving and going where the people are, via sports and art."
Pastor Calvin Brown said Pinnacle Sports will still occupy the facility as a renter, placing the church in a spot that is already frequented by community members.
"This is an active building," Brown said. "We thought why make a significant investment in a building, then have to go out to reach people, when we can come here and already have people here?'"
"A lot of churches spend millions on a building they may only use once a week," said Pastor Bob Ross. "This building is used seven days a week."
During a March 1 conversation with Pastors Ross, Thomas and Brown on the second floor, windows looking on to the first floor revealed activity on both sides of a dividing wall.
On one side, mothers jogged around a gym area, pushing strollers as their tiny tots rode along. On the other side were youngsters tumbling on padded mats, climbing through large tires and other obstacles, and just running around having fun.
Brown said the church envisions using the building as a house of worship and a place for Bible studies, as well as a spot for sports, exercise and art opportunities and after-school programs.
"There is a whole new stream of programming that will flow out of our nonprofit, The Edge Sports and Arts Academy," Brown said. "Sports and the arts help youth cultivate character and contribute to the world."
Brown said improvements will be made to the building.
"We hope to start demolition [on some of the walls] in the next couple of weeks," Brown said.
The renovations will create a new cafe area for adults with children, a new lobby, upstairs restrooms and a ceiling for the offices on the first floor near the soccer field, where Sunday worship services are conducted.
Thomas said the church strives to be open to people of all backgrounds.
"One of our core values is to be multicultural," Thomas said. "Our people are bridge builders. In this day of social and generational and economic divisions, we want to be bridge builders."
For details, visit www.destinyweb.org. or call the church office at 330-405-1993.