Church Buys Buildings For Teen Center

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Ponderosa Baptist Church has purchased the property at 102 W. Roundup Road in Payson to use as classroom space for the church teen department and plans to open an after-school, faith-based teen program, “Momentum,” for all Payson area teens.

The property consists of two buildings — a two-story, 2,900-square-foot building and a single story 800-square-foot building. The two-story building will house a computer center that will be used to assist teens with homework, and may include space for individualized tutoring or specialized lessons. There will also be areas set up for games, puzzles and individual activities.

The single story building is slated to become a college/career facility as plans for a Payson ASU campus materialize.

The total facility may also be used as a resource center for home-schooled teens, and may also be a communication site and resource center for homeless families with school-aged children.

Plans also include a teen employment center, where students will learn how to fill out employment applications, design resumes and perfect interview techniques.

Joseph Falkner, Ponderosa’s senior pastor, has envisioned a teen center for Payson since he accepted his position at the church five years ago.

A year after arriving, with only three teens in attendance at the church, Falkner recommended that the church hire Allen Mann as a full-time teen pastor, and Ponderosa’s teen program has grown to about 40 students.

Mann is also active in working with teen pastors from other area churches to meet the spiritual and practical needs of Payson area teens.

So far, funds for the project have all been provided by Ponderosa Baptist Church. However, in order to meet the needs of all community teens, additional resources will need to be tapped.

A fund-raising indoor garage sale will be held from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., Thursday, April 15; from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., Friday, April 16; and from 7 a.m. until noon, Saturday, April 17.

A silent auction featuring several items provided by local merchants will be held as part of the April event. The Coca-Cola Company will provide their Coke event trailer and has agreed to provide several cases of Coca-Cola. Beeline Business Supply has donated a copy machine for the silent auction.

Donations of computers for the homework area are being accepted. Items for the garage sale and silent auction are being accepted at the church office, 212 W. Corral. Cash donations from the community can be sent to 1800 N. Beeline Highway, Payson 85541.

“Momentum” will open to the community as soon as town-mandated modifications to the buildings are completed.

Applications will be accepted from members of the faith community who can donate time to mentor and oversee students when a grand opening date has been determined. For more information about the project, contact Sandy Bennett at Ponderosa Baptist Church, (928) 474-9279.

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