By Veronica Sandate Craker
The Living Room Church started four years ago with less than a dozen people meeting regularly in a living room.
Today the non-denominational church boasts more than 700 members and currently meets at 1007 Wright Ave., in Richland at the West Side Church Activity Center.
“We’ve been homeless since we started,” said Monte Ingersoll, lead pastor. “Now we’ll have a home and begin to serve the community the ways we’ve longed too.”
That new home is at 1409 S. Garfield St. in Kennewick, where renovations are already underway at what was once Bethlehem Lutheran Church’s school. The school is moving next to the church at 2505 W. 27th Ave. According to the Benton County Assessor’s office, the Living Room Church purchased the new building for $1,000,270, with building permits showing renovations costing up to $45,000.
Ingersoll said renovations are being taken care of by church members and through donations made by the community.
“We hope to be moved in by June,” Ingersoll said.
The 20,000-sq. ft. building is perfect for the types of ministries the church has planned in the area, Ingersoll said. The church will focus on strengthening children and families and will offer after-school art programs for the public.
“The arts have always been apart of my life,” Ingersoll said. “(Art programs) could be singing, dancing or art, painting, photography or graphic design.”
As the church congregation anxiously awaits the opening of its new home, they are celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16-17 at the church’s current Richland location. Tickets to the event are $15 each with limited seating.
The concert will feature music from Monte, Scott, Ryan and Karli Ingersoll, Bob Somma, Mel Haug and Chelsea Ward. Ward is known for singing on tour with John Tesh during his Christmas shows.
“We have quite a lineup with our band, its just going to be a very tender and very powerful event,” Ingersoll said.
So while there are still plenty of shopping days until the holiday, members of the Living Room Church might say they got their Christmas gift a little early this year.