Old Ash Grove building a church … again

By: 
Steve Chapman

The old Vibrancy in Christ Church building will be the new meeting place for Inspire Rhapsody, on Walker Street in Ash Grove. (Photo by Steve Chapman)

Inspire Rhapsody renovating church building for meeting place, maybe more
 
Inspire Rhapsody, a nondenominational church in Ash Grove, will soon have a new place to meet for services.
The church recently took possession of the old Vibrancy in Christ Church building, located at 415 E. Walker Street just west of the Ash Grove High School.
Phaedra Ferguson, one of the church leaders, said they plan to hold meetings in the building, once the church is ready.
“Our vision is to gather for group discussion of the weekly scripture and topics posted in our Facebook group; Inspire Rhapsody church,” she said. “The weekly fellowship will take place Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. once the facility is ready.”
Ferguson said having members meet to discuss the Bible is at the heart of the congregation.
“The group discussion is an important element for us,” she said. “We feel there is immense benefit from engaging in various viewpoints of our members; very immersive in the topic and scripture. As an adult educator for several years, I wholeheartedly believe there is truth in the old Chinese Proverb, ‘Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.’ Once our facility is ready, anyone in the group is welcome to continue commenting on the postings and participate in the discussion in that manner if they are unable to meet, or uncomfortable with gathering in groups due to ongoing COVID infections.”
Repairs imminent
It will be some time before the church can meet in the building, Ferguson added, noting that the building has fallen into disrepair.
“The church was unoccupied for quite some time and needs extensive work,” she said. “The heat and air do not work. The roof leaked on the church and the roof on the recreation hall is in poor shape and needs repair before it begins to leak. Several windows need to be replaced, (and) the bathrooms need to be redone. These are items that are in progress to have a facility that is safe and comfortable for gathering. Once we get past the must do list, we want to create a courtyard space and update the recreation hall to open it for gatherings and events.”
Future plans may include event venue
Ferguson said once repairs to the building are complete, the church has several plans for it.
“We intend to rent the space as an event venue as a means of fundraising for the church,” she said. “Churches need to extend financial avenues beyond member tithes and contributions, and this property could certainly be a lovely space for a wedding, reunion, business meetings, or any number of celebrations or gatherings for up to 150 people comfortably. We have also discussed fundraising with Bingo nights, car meets, concerts, movie nights, etc.”
Ferguson also said all will be welcome at Inspire Rhapsody, and they plan to also create a number of ministries to support the community.
“The mission of our non-denominational church is ‘To BE the church,’” she said. “We believe God wants us to love and support our fellow man; without regard to their past, physical habits, political viewpoints, or sexuality. Once the property is open, we have several community support programs in mind, one of which is a clothing bank. We have started accepting clothing
donations.”
Earlier inquiry from Ferguson
In January of this year, Ferguson brought the idea of turning the building into a wedding and event venue before the Ash Grove Board of Aldermen. She indicated at the time that the business would require a license to allow alcohol on the premises. Feedback from the board was lukewarm at best, with alderman Troy Watts encouraging Ferguson to talk to the building’s neighbors to see how her request would be welcomed. The alcohol license would have only been one change in the property for the business to open. The location would’ve also required a rezone, which would’ve required board approval,
as well.
For more information on Inspire Rhapsody, visit their Facebook page.

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