Hardin Valley church doubles in size to help locals in need

Hardin Valley church doubles in size to help locals in need

Posted:
Hardin Valley Church of Christ is undergoing a $2 million expansion. Hardin Valley Church of Christ is undergoing a $2 million expansion.
"What our benevolent ministry has done is basically adopted 50 families in the area. We help as many people as we possibly can. But rather than being sporadic, we've targeted 50 families," said Hardin Valley Church of Christ Pastor Larry Cline. "What our benevolent ministry has done is basically adopted 50 families in the area. We help as many people as we possibly can. But rather than being sporadic, we've targeted 50 families," said Hardin Valley Church of Christ Pastor Larry Cline.

By JILL MCNEAL
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A local church is more than doubling in size with a $2 million expansion, all paid for by the church's 500 members.

Hardin Valley Church of Christ was founded six years ago, first meeting at the local elementary school and YMCA.

They moved into their own building just three years ago, but already they saw the need to add 26,000 square feet.

Peering through the church construction, you can see the type of development Hardin Valley has become known for - large homes in upscale neighborhoods along with new businesses.

"You get off the beaten path, the main road through Hardin Valley, and you find poverty all around," said Hardin Valley Church of Christ Pastor Larry Cline.

He said those are the people his congregation tries to embrace.

"What our benevolent ministry has done is basically adopted 50 families in the area. We help as many people as we possibly can. But rather than being sporadic, we've targeted 50 families," Cline said.

Their food distribution program has grown way beyond the shelves in one classroom, so they're transforming their current kitchen with industrial appliances and more storage space.

"Not just food, but spiritual guidance in their lives is a key to what our benevolence program is all about," said Youth Minister Keith Bagwell.

He said the new addition will cater mostly to children.

"It's just bricks and mortar, but it gives us an opportunity to really start connecting with people, to get them comfortable being here, to let other groups who need a space come and use our space," Bagwell said.

That kind of community outreach doesn't come cheap. The building campaign netted $2.3 million from this small, but committed congregation.

"We really tried to have everybody be part of it with a lot of self-service and sacrifice, saying, 'This is what I'm going to give up for the future of our church to help embrace this community and make a difference for the Lord'," Bagwell said.

The new addition is supposed to be finished by May. The church owns a total of 15 acres, so there is space to expand again if the congregation keeps growing.

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