Terry Carmichael wants to make sure everyone who wants to attend church can.
Heartland Church of Christ is currently building a new building across the road from the Perry Hy-Vee and Great Western Bank to help accommodate the congregation.
“We are in an older building and there’s steps going up and steps going down. So we already have some members, one or two who aren’t coming now because they can’t get into the building,” Carmichael said. “Then we have some older people in the congregation and they’re struggling getting up and down the stairs, so we know we need a new building that’s handicapped accessible.”
Carmichael, the minister at Heartland for the past 16 years, said a committee was formed a few years ago to look at the aging church, located at 1402 Warford St. The committee looked at handicap ramps, lifts and an elevator and the decision was made to build a new church.
One of the main concerns, Carmichael said, was to have the new site be where it would be seen by members and potential visitors.
While there is a house currently located on the land, Carmichael said the location seemed perfect as “everybody who turns into Hy-Vee will see” the church.
“Getting visitors there and being seen,” he added about the benefits of building a new church. “That’s the biggest thing. Location, location, location.”
Heartland Church of Christ held a fundraiser to help raise the funds needed for the purchase of around 3 ½ acres of land.
“We have very generous members. We came up with the money in no time,” Carmichael said.
He added that there is enough land to leave the house where it is right now. A decision about what to do with the house will be made at a later date.
Carmichael is looking forward to the new site having better parking for the church’s regular community meal.
“We have a community meal, so everybody is invited. This will be a better location to advertise that,” he said.
A groundbreaking for the new site was held on May 1. Work has continued with concrete being poured and walls being erected. Carmichael anticipates work will be completed this fall.
Heartland Church of Christ is selling its current building. While Carmichael will miss the acoustics in the current church, he is looking forward to seeing the completed building at the new site.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how big the sanctuary is going to look and what it will sound like,” Carmichael said.