Riverwood Chapel groundbreaking begins new addition to church

Blueprints for the addition to Riverwood Chapel.

Robyn Berardi

Members of Riverwood Chapel celebrated the groundbreaking of a new addition to the church Sunday.

The new addition to the building will include a café, kitchen, classroom, storage space and a multi-purpose room with a basketball court. The additions will also include another driveway leading to the church.

“There’s going to be so many things done in (the multi-purpose) room,” said Lead Pastor Cole Tawney. “Whether it’s basketball, volleyball, dinners, you name it. The sky’s the limit on a space like that.”

“The goal of the new additions is simple,” he said. “From all the different things that will happen that we probably can’t even see, we want to bring honor and glory to the Lord.”

The first groundbreaking of Riverwood Chapel occured in 1997 and Riverwood has been working toward the new addition for at least five years, said Pastor Jon Ashley, the pastor of student and young adult ministries.

“The new structure is a pretty significant, multi-purpose space,” Ashley said. “For us, it’s a chance to celebrate what God has been doing in our church family.”   

The addition to the church is not only meant to benefit church members, but the entire community as well said Pastor Lon Snyder, the pastor of global missions and outreach.

“I hope it becomes a true resource to the community,” said Kim Polatas, a Riverwood Chapel member. “The people that don’t necessarily attend Riverwood would see it as something that we could serve them … Just really being a resource to the community.”

A major benefit to the community will come from the new kitchen.

“We have needed a full kitchen and a gym to do outreach and ministry here for a very long time, so it’s exciting that it is finally happening and coming to fruition,” Polatas said.

“We do a lot of funeral dinners here and it’s been very difficult to serve 100 people from a microwave, so we’re really excited about the kitchen,” she said.

The celebration included a reception where church and community members reflected on Riverwood’s past and shared what they hope for the future. It ended with the groundbreaking ceremony where members used shovels to break the new ground.

The goal is to have the new additions completed by spring 2019.

“There are so many great things that God is going to do and we are truly excited about that,” Tawney said.

Robyn Berardi is a diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected].