"By changing the name to 'community center,' everybody as far as leaders and [others] begin to think about what we could do for the community instead of what we could do for our church," said Michael Wenzel, Living Way Foursquare Church's associate pastor and youth pastor. "So a lot of the focus [is geared toward the community] as far as we have [free dinners] that will be going on during the summer.
"We have big youth, family concerts that will be going on during the summer, and just overall having the space for families and people in the community to be able to use and just be a blessing to them is the biggest thing. ... By making it a community center, it's a big statement saying, 'That our heart is with the community of Adairsville' by opening up our facility."
Located at 118 E. George St. in Adairsville, Living Way Foursquare Church features about 90 members and offers a praise and worship service Sundays at 10:45 a.m. With the property's name change, the church and its academy will be two entities that meet at the Living Way Community Center.
Along with a Christian Academy that serves pre-kindergartners through 12th-graders, the church presently assists the community in various ways, including being an Angel Food host site and dispersing items from its food pantry Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Other scheduled events include a free dinner for senior adults March 16 at 4 p.m., basketball tournament at Manning Mill Park April 16, job fair April 9 at 10 a.m. and a complimentary Easter dinner April 23. Starting in May, Living Way is offering a free dinner on the fourth Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. for senior adults and 6 p.m. for families.
"We own property on Highway 41. Within the next couple of years, we hope to relocate the church and school at that property," said Tina Spellman, senior pastor for Living Way. "Then our current property will be totally dedicated to a community center. Our heart with that is to just serve the community. The different ministries and things that we'll be focussing on from here forward are all community-center-type ministries, like we'll be doing monthly feedings and we hope to develop some after-school programs and things of that nature. We also have a food pantry that's available two days a week.
"So everything that comes out of there, we want it to be things that reach out to our community and that's our heart -- is that we just want to love and serve our community," she said, adding the local Seventh-day Adventist Church is meeting at their facility on Saturdays and an addictions recovery group will be utilizing their building in the near future. "The vision of our church, our vision statement is 'love God, love people and make disciples as we go.' And for us, the community center is one way that we can love people."
For more information about Living Way -- which is dedicating its gymnasium to the Adairsville community Sunday at 12:30 p.m. -- or to register for its Easter dinner, call 770-877-3600.