HUDSON -- When The Crossing Church formed about a year ago, one location stood out as an ideal place for the congregation.
Located in the center of Houlton, at the intersection of County Roads V and E, the building was originally built as a church and then used for scrapbook retreats. Its location, size and feel were perfect.
“That was the building at the top of our list,” Pastor Michele Arndt said.
The owner, though, wasn’t open to renting, so The Crossing started worshipping at Swanson Lodge at nights. That set up wasn’t ideal to grow the new church.
“It’s just been tough to get people to come check us out in that far of a spot, in the woods, at night,” Arndt said.
This summer, they got another shot at the ideal space. Arndt heard the building was up for sale, and the church started looking into purchasing it. As a newly formed congregation, only a year old, their finances weren’t in the best spot.
“The chances we can buy are probably slim to none,” Arndt said.
They seemed to have a solution. After Arndt preached at her home church in Forest Lake, Minn., she was approached by a man who worked in real estate and was willing to buy the building for the church and be paid back in rent. He, though, had a change of heart.
Then a couple from the congregation decided to put in an offer. They had an idea of starting a group home or organization for their two sons who would one day need a space. The family entered into a bidding war against another small church. After five rounds, they ultimately lost.
Then Arndt approached the church that won the bid and was able to work out a rental agreement with them.
“Three’s a charm is what we keep saying,” Arndt said.
The Crossing has now held four services in its new space. It has access to the space on Monday, Thursday and Sunday.
“It just feels like a real answer to our prayer,” she said.
Members are excited to be in a visible, accessible place. The move has re-energized them in their vision to be a place where Christ and community come together, Arndt said. She added that she wants people to know the church is committed to talking about the gospel in the way it relates to the real world.
“They’re welcome to step inside and to know that the conversations we’re trying to have are not in the absence of what is going on in our world,” she said.