The former city police station on West Clay will soon have a second life as a church.
Matthias' Lot, a Christian church that currently meets in downtown St. Charles, purchased the 20,000 square foot property located at 2645 West Clay in mid June for $600,000.
St. Charles Police moved out of the building into the new police station at 1781 Zumbehl in 2003. The city sold the West Clay property to an investment group in 2004, but it has sat vacant since, according to an article in the St. Charles Business Record.
About 175 members of the congregation recently chipped in to help gut much of the facility, filling up 16 dumpsters with concrete block, ceiling tile and drywall.
Last week, Pastor Marc Sikma stood at the front of the former municipal courtroom, which the church plans to turn into a chapel. Light streamed through a skylight illuminating the space where the judge used to sit.
It's not often a church gets a chance to be in a former jail, he said.
"This place used to represent a place of hurt, pain, trouble," he said. "Not that hurt pain and trouble won't still be in here because we're people and we have hurts and pain and everything else, it'll just be a place of hope."
Sikma is also excited to be in a place formerly owned by the city of St. Charles. Matthias' Lot has been leasing space from Main Street Church in downtown St. Charles, but outgrew the sanctuary.
"It just came down to a space issue," he said. "We're going to be working with another church here who's going to lease from us. We're all about church partnership."
This will be the fifth location for the church since it started in 2005. Members have gathered at St. Charles High, Hardin Middle, former Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Main Street Church and various meeting rooms.
Construction is expected to happen in phases, they hope to be in the new building by mid-August. Eventually, 900 people will fit in the auditorium.
“This is just brick and mortar,” he said. “We’ve always said that about every space we’ve been in, which is helpful because our people never get attached to a space, they get attached to the Lord and then, get attached to each other.”
The new building will be simple, without many architectural frills, he said. It will have a space for worship, a space for children and a few offices.
“We’d rather save our resources and be able to bless people in the city,” he said.
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