Church of the Highlands expanding Riverchase campus

Published 3:49 pm Thursday, March 31, 2011

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The Riverchase campus of Church of the Highlands soon will have much more room to spread the gospel, as the church recently broke ground on a large expansion.

Crews broke ground on the expansion about a month ago, and could have the new facility ready to house church services as soon as December, said Riverchase campus Pastor Blake Lindsey.

Once completed, the expansion will include a new worship auditorium, common areas and an office suite. The new areas will connect to the church’s existing building, which is off Alabama 261 west of its intersection with Shelby County 275.

“It will give us a lot more room,” Lindsey said. “Right now, our auditorium seats about 300. The new one will seat just under 1,000.”

The new buildings will be built where the church’s parking lot currently sits. The construction project will also add about 600 new parking spots to currently undeveloped parts of the church property.

“We are excited about having this opportunity to expand and serve more people,” Lindsey said.

The expansion is much needed, as the Riverchase campus now holds four services every Sunday to serve between 1,300-1,400 attendees. The campus also hosts a Hispanic ministry each Saturday night.

Because the Riverchase campus is a satellite facility for the main Church of the Highlands campus off Grants Mill Road in Birmingham, the congregation receives live feeds from the main building during each worship service.

The Riverchase campus has its own worship team and band, which lead the worship services until the sermon is delivered.

During the sermon, the Riverchase campus displays a live feed of the sermon delivered from the Grants Mill building by Senior Pastor Chris Hodges.

“I handle the flow of the service here at this campus until the message is delivered. After the message, we come back and close out the service,” Lindsey said. “Technology is amazing. It gives us a lot of opportunities to reach people.”

Lindsey said the leaders at the Riverchase campus have not yet decided if or how they will modify the worship times and number of services at the campus after the expansion is complete.

For Lindsey and other church members and officials, the expansion signifies more than a bigger building.

“It’s not just a building project,” Lindsey said. “Yes, it will be nice. But it will just be a vehicle that will allow us to do what God has called us to do.”