Covenant Church began in 1952. In 1954 land was purchased, and the congregation constructed a building. By the 1970's attendance had periodically surged to numbers in excess of 250 persons. However, the building could not accommodate large numbers of people. Attendance rose and fell.
In the 1970's the congregation made a painful decision to purchase two acres of land on Rio Road. We understand that this bold move resulted is a few members leaving the fellowship. They thought Rio Road was too far out of the city, and there was the compounding issue of leaving buildings that had been home for more than 20 years.
The move to Rio Road was a challenge. Much volunteer labor was devoted to a 6,000 SF cinderblock building which was to serve as a fellowship and worship area with an office and 2 classrooms. In 1980 a 1,000 SF apartment for the pastor was built adjacent to the complex.
In 1981 Laila and I and our three children, Danny, Dana and Joshua, came as the pastor's family and moved into that apartment. Two months later we broke ground for an 8,000 SF sanctuary with classrooms. A few years later we added a lobby, offices and large classroom under the offices.
Each time we built the size of the congregation grew. Our sanctuary was nearing capacity. The people were talking about the need to build. I was reluctant. After three building programs I had surgery each time to celebrate completion. I did not want more surgery.
An elder came to me and said: "Pastor, I do not think you get it. If you do not move the people do not move."
The next morning my heart was committed to building.
In 1994 we began work on what is now our sanctuary building. In February 1996 we moved into the new sanctuary with an attendance averaging about 250 persons.
The years have passed. Our congregation has grown. We have planted a church in Waynesboro, The Republic of South Sudan, and seven churches in the Batangas Province, Philippines. Our missionary outreach spans the central Virginia area and countries around the world. We have numerous parishioners who are employees of Advancing Native Missions and Christian Aid Mission. We support Church of God missionary causes and missionaries. Our hands and hearts are also open to serve numerous community organizations and churches.
Having missionaries going and coming is normal for Covenant. In addition, God has given us a harvest of immigrants and refugees
At home we serve the congregation. It matters to us about discipleship, children's ministries, youth ministries, single parents, and families. Facilities serve in times of birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings, homegoing celebrations (some call them funerals) and for multiple community events.
Our property is zoned CO (commercial office). Our location brings great value to land and buildings. We have chosen to build very carefully to maintain highest commercial value.
The balcony, our newest completed construction, has seated as many as 80 people on a Sunday. That is with the overflow area on the main floor still open and occupied. Another verification that growth accompanies building.
With the North Annex completed we will have a wonderful lobby, classroom, and 2 new restrooms. When our buildings are joined together Covenant Church will have a superior facility with additional classrooms, lobby, elevator, hospitality area, greater security for children's ministry, and covered entrances on North and South.
The proof is in our history. Strategic building allows us to reach more people for Christ. Excellent facilities provide us the opportunity to serve the congregation and community with greater impact.
We are on a compelling mission as we build for Christ and to His glory! The congregation has willed to advance the current building programs believing that a great harvest of souls awaits.
More than 25 congregations in Charlottesville rent space and have to move their equipment in and out every week. One congregation pays about $100,000 rent per year and is subject to restrictive time limits. We are so blessed to have wonderful facilities.
This Sunday we will gather and celebrate the dedication of perhaps seven children!
Our ambition is to enter the North Annex on Resurrection Sunday! Please pray with us for skilled workers to be prompt and efficient.
Follow this LINK for a construction update!