With more than 3,000 in attendance, FishHawk Fellowship Church (FFC) unveiled its brand-new multi-purpose building to the community with a ribbon cutting ceremony during its Saturday night and Sunday services on February 9 and 10. Since its inception in 1998, FFC has sought to be part of the fabric of FishHawk by engaging the family-oriented and sports-driven community with events like its Eggstravaganza and summer basketball camps. But even with adding additional services, FFC’s weekly attendance of more than 2,000 left little room for visitors and new members.

“Since our Senior Pastor David Whitten shared his vision to reach the community seven days a week, our church came together in a big way to raise $5.5 million to build this space completely debt-free,” said Pastor Daniel Butson. “It’s amazing what happens when people come together.”

The newly constructed space will extend FFC’s reach into the community with larger church gatherings, multiple sports ministries, concerts, guest speaker events and more. The building seats 1,300 people and features a full-size gymnasium, a café, brand new area for babies and toddlers and a state of the art worship space for Saturday and Sunday services.

The new space also affords the youth ministry and children’s Awana ministry to meet simultaneously on Wednesday nights. Awana will continue to meet in the other facilities with the youth ministry now taking up residence in the new building.

Senior Pastor David Whitten said, “Once we made the decision to build this building debt-free, we witnessed God work in the hearts of our people, where people have given sacrificially to make it happen.”

He continued, “While some were skeptical that this could really be done, so many have seen their faith and trust in God really grow to see this vision become a reality. This place was never really about us. It was always about how we can reach this community.”

To help with the cost, FFC also ran the BYOC campaign ‘Buy Your Own Chair,’ which encouraged church members to purchase chairs for each of their family members and one for a neighbor at $100 per chair. FFC raised the $130,000, which will pay for all the chairs in the new worship building.

Pastor Butson explained, “It’s more than just the chair. We believe every chair represents someone who needs hope, love and meaning in our community,” He continued, “We believe when people sit in these chairs that’s exactly what they’ll find. For so many years, we’ve seen marriages restored, people find forgiveness, hope and life in Jesus.”

One of the first major events scheduled to take place in the new building is a marriage conference on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4. Also this summer, FFC will kick off its sports ministry, which will include summer camps, kids’ basketball leagues and group fitness classes throughout the week.

For more information, visit www.fishhawkfc.org. The church is located at 15326 FishHawk Blvd. in Lithia.

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Amanda Boston
Amanda Boston is the Christian Voice Editor for the Osprey Observer. She is a graduate of Bible Training for Church Leaders (BTCL), who enjoys sharing how God is working in and through the community. Amanda resides in FishHawk with her husband and two children.