Two Chelsea churches merge

Published 12:45 pm Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Two Chelsea churches, once going in opposite directions, have made the decision to come together in order to continue their work for God.

At more than 105 years old, K-Springs Church of God was suffering from a depleted congregation and some debt on new additions to the church building. Chelsea Community Church, barely a year old, had grown beyond the boundaries of the space where members met, in an office building on Highway 280.

Both congregations were searching for solutions when they found each other, said Chelsea Community Church pastor Greg Davis.

“We’ve grown at a very rapid pace. We had run out of space. We were searching for a new building and had a great need for that,” Davis said. “One of the people in our church knew that K-Springs Church was also in a situation where they were looking for some help.”

With that, the leaders of K-Springs Church of God and Chelsea Community Church met. At first, however, the meeting was to see if Chelsea Community Church might want to occupy the K-Springs Church of God property.

While touring the property, K-Springs leaders began telling Davis about going through hard times. When he heard that, Davis made a decision.

“We really desperately wanted to see if their heritage could be preserved. I said, ‘Why don’t we just come together? Why don’t we just unite as one church?’” he said. “They were very willing to do that, and we were very willing to do that.”

Mickey Griffin, who has been a member of K-Springs for 60 years, said that K-Springs members understood that making a drastic change was essential if the church was to survive.

“We had lost most of our young people and our children, and we knew that our church was going to basically die if we did not do something,” she said. “And when this opportunity came up, we’re just so in love with these people to begin with. We thought, ‘Man, this would be great.’ We’re all happy about it.”

The church, which will meet in the K-Springs Church of God building, but will keep the name Chelsea Community Church, will have its first official worship service together this Sunday, March 22.

The church will celebrate a grand re-opening April 26. Right now, the church is undergoing some minor renovations to get ready.

While K-Springs had maintained a traditional worship service, new worship services will be held in a contemporary style. While that might take some getting used to, old K-Springs members understand contemporary services are popular today, Davis said.

“(K-Springs members) are the heroes in this story. They are the ones who were willing to put their pride aside,” he said. “What this is really about is two groups of people that put aside what they want for what God wants. It’s the Chelsea Community Church putting a new face on history.”