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Hapeville church building flock, growing strong
by Mary Cosgrove
August 21, 2012 09:56 AM | 7331 views | 3 3 comments | 71 71 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Joe Livingston <br>
The Village Church founder and Pastor Ray Waters with the signature wall mural outside the church.
Staff / Joe Livingston
The Village Church founder and Pastor Ray Waters with the signature wall mural outside the church.
When Pastor Ray Waters decided to move his church from Stockbridge to Hapeville, it was a leap of faith.

The Village Church, a interdenominational church, took about 50 members from its former Jodeco Road location to its current Dogwood Drive location, moved into an a former auto repair warehouse and began slowly building from there.

“A few brave people came and kicked it off with us,” Waters said of the church’s beginning five years ago.

Now the congregation hosts 200 to 300 on Sundays and upwards of 400 at its Easter services.

The church’s philosophy focuses less on theology and more living a Christ-like life.

“We’re not very religious in the sense of we don’t tell people what they shouldn’t do,” Waters said. “We call ourselves Red Letter Christians. We really think the message of Jesus trumps theology.”

The church leans toward the contemporary, with succinct Sunday services from 11 a.m. to just past noon. The congregation dresses casually and the music is old favorites ratcheted up to more modern flavor, all performed by a live band.

“The band is pretty smoking hot,” Waters said.

And most of all, the environment is welcoming. Waters said when people attend the church the goal is to not feel intimidated.

The church currently has youth and adult Bible study groups, children’s and youth services, as well as outreach programs that feed and clothe the homeless.

The large space the church uses can accommodate much more, and Waters said he hopes the church is able to operate 24 hours a day helping the community.

“We want to be a church that if we disappear from Hapeville, they’d miss us,” Waters said.

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