Nazarene Plans Church On Tyler Parkway


First Church of the Nazarene, which is building a new church on Tyler Parkway, has sold its south Payson facility to Crossroads Foursquare Gospel Church.

The two churches will share the existing facility, located at 114 E. Cedar Lane, while the new Nazarene church is being built.

"It's a win-win situation for both churches," said Gordon Hauptman, pastor of Foursquare Gospel.

While First Nazarene will continue to use the main sanctuary, Foursquare Gospel will begin holding services at 10 a.m. Sunday at a smaller building on the site known as Tanner Hall. The physical address of that building is 107 Aero Drive.

"The Nazarenes are going to lease back the main building for 18-24 months," Bob McQueen, the broker who handled the transaction, said.

In the meantime, work will proceed on a new 24,000-square-foot facility on 18.8 acres owned by First Nazarene on the northeast corner of Tyler Parkway and Highway 87, Pastor David Runyon said. The church currently holds a weekly outdoor chapel service on the site, along with a 10:45 a.m. service at the Cedar Lane location.

"We're looking at breaking ground in February," Runyon said. "Then it will be maybe a year or so before the facility is completed."

He said the Cedar Lane church, which was built in 1969, is simply too small to house his growing congregation. "The building holds about 120 and that's not enough, so we have to do multiple services."

For Hauptman, whose congregation numbers between 50 and 55, the old Nazarene church provides room to grow. "We got to the point where we needed to find a permanent home," he said. "Tanner can seat about 90, and we're looking to fill the building up."

The new Tyler Parkway facility, estimated to cost about $1.8 million, will provide First Nazarene with plenty of growing room also. "Initially the sanctuary will seat about 325." Runyon said.

"The main building will house the sanctuary and Sunday school classrooms, and then we'll have a separate building that will contain our fellowship hall and an educational wing," he said. "Right now, we're looking at stucco or split-faced block, or some combination of the two."

The 8 a.m. outdoor service held on the site will continue through October, weather permitting. "It's a very informal service, very casual," Runyon said.

"It's open to the community and the campgrounds. We're not pushing it as a Nazarene service."

Foursquare Gospel, which had previously been meeting at Payson Elementary School, was founded in California in 1927 by Amy Semple McPherson. The local affiliate was previously known as Eagle's Nest and then Christian Life Center before merging with Hope Chapel.

"The community wonders if we're for real," Hauptman said. "We want to say, 'Yes, we're here to stay.'

"We're really looking forward to being a team player in the community and helping however we can.

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