Rio Revolution breaks in new building
By Wes Wade | (email@example.com)
Rio Revolution has some new digs, and on Sunday the church had its first service, sprinkled with a little celebration to break in their new building.
Church members estimated there was easily more than 900 people in attendance, and all were fed with subs from Firehouse and pizza from Domino’s following the service.
The construction of the new building, located at 3417 E. Lamar Alexander Parkway in Maryville, took 10 months. And while the new sanctuary, which seats about 1,000 people, was ready for occupation Sunday, pastor Pacer Hepperly said they’re still finishing bits and pieces of the building.
That first service was dubbed “Breakthrough Sunday,” and though they’re very happy to have a great new building, Pacer Hepperly said, they know God has bigger plans for the church on the horizon. Rio Revolution’s next goal is to build an add-on sanctuary so that the church is capable of housing a 2,500-member congregation.
Pacer Hepperly’s brother, Steve Hepperly, appeared on stage briefly to speak with the congregation and welcome them to the new facility.
“We’ve got so much to be thankful for, moving into a new building,” Steve Hepperly said. “(But) it’s not about a big building. It’s about reaching people within the community. This (building) is just a platform.”
Visiting pastor Rod Aguillard from Louisiana also served as a guest preacher, congratulating the church on the progress it has made, but also speaking of greater things to come.
“It’s going to astound you the things that are coming,” Aguillard said. “God’s going to blow the roof off this house, in a good sense.”
Pacer Hepperly spoke about a new beginning, but that his church is ready to continue moving in God’s plan and timing.
“God’s got greater things in store, and we’re prepared for stage two,” Hepperly said, talking about the sanctuary addition.
At the end of the service, loads of balloons were dropped from the ceiling into the congregation, where they were bounced, popped and passed around as the praise and worship band played and sang a Christian take on Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It.”
Church-goers were impressed with the new building and said they were glad to finally have a place to call their own after meeting in the Heritage High School auditorium every Sunday since the church started in 2006.
“It’s wonderful that God could just grant us a new building,” said Megan Davis, a Louisville resident who has attended the church since its humble beginnings. This Sunday marked the first time she’d been in the new facility and she said it was quite extravagant.
“I didn’t know there was so many seats,” Davis said. “It exceeded my expectations.”
The new building also as a coffee bar, called “Hebrews Cafe,” which will open next Sunday along with the children’s church room.
“We’re so excited,” Pacer Hepperly said of the opening. “It’s been a long time coming. I would say it’s pretty surreal. You’ve been six years in a school and this transition to a new building is just unreal.”