The Vernon Alliance Church has been growing since 1953 when a few people gathered in a living room with the belief that God wanted to be something significant and eternal in the hearts of people in the North Okanagan.
The latest renovations to the 1962 church on 43rd Avenue are just part of the faith of the congregation.
“We started thinking about a year and a half ago that it was time to update and refresh things for our church and community programs. We focused on the sanctuary this time and future plans are to re-do the lobby,” said campus pastor Will Wiens.
The sanctuary received new carpets and a re-designed stage to accommodate current acoustics. The biggest decision was about seating, with several options, including theatre seating, considered. The final choice was for steel-frame pews made and upholstered locally, which will serve the sanctuary seating capacity of 650. The old wooden pews are being sent to a church in northern B.C.
The sanctuary, which was built in 1988, was repainted and has new LED lights.
“We did a lot of the work between Sundays and we had a lot of volunteer labour and donated materials,” said Wiens.
“This is all running really well and will be done by the weekend of Sept. 8/9.”
The church, with senior pastor Stuart McKnight, has been holding services at the Vernon Recreation Centre and will have a baptism service at Kin Beach the first weekend of September before moving into the renovated sanctuary.
The Vernon Alliance Church has three services each weekend Sept. through June, one on Saturday and two on Sunday with more than 1,200 people attending. The church also runs programs that are open to the community and works with community organizations like North Okanagan Youth and Family Services to provide parenting programs.