The weekend cold couldn’t keep worshippers from the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection from breaking ground on a new church building downtown.
The new church will sit on 1.2 acres of land that was formerly the northern half of The Kansas City Star’s surface parking lot bounded by 16th and 17th streets and McGee Street and Grand Boulevard.
The 17,000-square-foot building’s sanctuary will sit 450 people.
The current church at 1522 Grand holds about 250 people, said Pastor Scott Chrostek. He added that the new church will be the first built downtown in more than 80 years.
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“God is calling on us for some reason to plant and grow a church,” Chrostek said. “I believe that we are called to plant the spirit of the lord to display God’s glory in this community.”
The ceremony kicked off Saturday night when churchgoers were presented with ceremonial pieces of asphalt to mark the first phase of a master plan to develop the site.
The ritual was scheduled to be repeated three more times Sunday. The pieces of asphalt were from the new construction site.
Chrostek used the occasion to challenge parishioners to grow and build in their own walks of faith.
“The time to plant, grow and build is now,” Chrostek said. “Let’s get to work.”
The Church of the Resurrection, with its main sanctuary in Leawood, is the country’s largest United Methodist church.