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Benton Heights church gets Christmas present to grow

BENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Benton Township leaders have just given the go-ahead for a church in the Benton Heights neighborhood to grow in the New Year.

“[The] space sits about 130 individuals – we have 130 chairs in here,” said Pastor Kevin Perthuis. “We maxed it out, so, we just needed room to grow.”

It’s a House of God in Benton Heights that is busting at the seams.

But in 2018, the land behind the First Church will transform into a two-toned, multi-purpose bubble sanctuary.

“It’s going to be a worship space on Sunday morning,” said Pastor Perthuis, who has worked at the church for the last four years. “And then during the week, it’ll be utilized for sports, for recreation. It’ll just be a viable community center where the community can come together.”

Pastor Perthuis said the First Church community came together in the last two years and raised $700,000 to fund construction.

The bubble-like structure is called a “sprung” building. It will be able to stand year-round and have heating, air conditioning, restrooms, plus a kitchenette.

Pastor Perthuis said the plan is to build it so it can house an indoor basketball court for youth sports.

“Our neighborhood, Benton Heights, in the bigger picture of Benton Township – we’re secluded,” he said. “So we don’t have the amenities that the rest of Benton Township has. So what we decided we wanted to do was create a building that was central to our neighbors that could be utilized every day.”

First Church has a non-profit that helps feed over 100 local families.

It partners with the YMCA to host an afterschool reading and healthy living program for 25 kids.

And it helps get donated cars to those in need.

Pastor Perthuis said the new building, coupled with the current one, will mean there’s more room to help.

“As a church, as neighbors, we want to help provide anything we can to uplift our neighborhood,” he said.

The land will start to be cleared in January to make way for the new building.

It’s expected to be up and running by summertime.

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