KEARNEY — The congregation of Radiant Life Church has been growing, prompting a recent remodeling of space that makes for better use of square footage and provides conveniences of a modern church.
Work on the church was done in a three-month span this past fall, and Pastor Nick DiBenedetto said he couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
“Our entire lighting system has been upgraded, we updated all of the lights to LED and weaved some through a computer system so the environment is very adjustable; we added a cafe space in our foyer with seating so we can have time to have fellowship before and after services. We've also made some enhancements to the bathrooms up front, although, we are planning some future expansion of those,” he said. “We are actually going to add off the back, so that is coming as well. … The place just looks totally different.”
The pastor said most of the work was done as a labor of love by church volunteers.
“We had over 40 volunteers from the church on this project. There were some outside contractors, but because of all the volunteer work, we were able to keep the cost at about a quarter of the estimated cost, which was awesome,” DiBenedetto said.
Reconfiguration of space was needed, the pastor said, to keep up with the needs of the growing congregation. The first services in the remodeled space took place Dec. 22.
“It was a nice Christmas present,” said the pastor. “Our second service was our Christmas Eve service, so it was a nice week.”
The pastor said the congregation is excited about the changes, one such member alerted the media by calling the Courier-Tribune to gush about the work.
“The new sanctuary is open and very beautiful,” wrote Kerrie Poppa on Facebook after the reveal.
“They were pushing us for two years to get this done. We've been talking about it for about two years, but there is a lot of planning that went into it with designing and such,” said DiBenedetto. “We just to kid around that our sanctuary was a like a putting green because of that old green carpet. What you see know though, it looks like a brand new space. People love it, they can't believe it.”
The pastor said the new space represents a new season for the church.
“This is kind of a marker for it. We are excited about it. We're excited for 2020 and are already seeing some great things,” he said, adding Sunday service attendance is at about 250 members. “We usually see consistent growth. … We're in a position where it's kind of been increasing and we're kind of passing all our records. It's been great.”