The 32,000 square foot space is expected to accommodate nearly a thousand people.
ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Florida – An empty shopping district in the middle of the World Golf Village is about to get a lot busier.
REVERB Church has just purchased the largest vacant commercial space in the complex and plans to hold services there starting this winter.
“We always thought World Golf Village was where we needed to be,” said Pastor Bryan Lamoureux.
He, his wife Renee, and members of the REVERB Church congregation had dreamed of this space for years. They thought it would be a great place for a church.
The building was once the PGA Pro Stop Shop located in what was the bustling heart of the World Golf Village business district. The empty store is right in front of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“We came here and looked at the situation years ago,” said Renée Lamoureux.
In the past 20+ years since the store opened, businesses have started to leave the neighborhood and the PGA Pro Stop is also gone, leaving storefronts empty. However, the Caddy Shack restaurant is still open.
But the Reverb Church still had a vision.
“We came over to take a look out the window and read a bit about what it could be and get here,” said Mark Atwell of REVERB Church.
REVERB Church has purchased the 32,000 square foot space and is renovating it into a church that can accommodate nearly a thousand people.
“We felt that there were only a few places in World Golf that could actually match the size of the church we hope to be,” Lamoureux said.
For the past ten years, the REVERB Church has met in an auditorium at a nearby school. However, with this new location, they will be able to minister “seven days a week”.
Some people believe that if the church attracts more pedestrians to the area, businesses might start returning to those empty storefronts.
“In talking to the owner who sold us this place,” said Lamoureux, “I shared with them, it is our desire. We want to see this place filled with life again.”
Lamoureux believes that moving his church to this empty building is an opportunity to share his Christian walk with many others… and also to help improve the livelihoods of the people in the area.
“So we take old things and we do new things,” he said.
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