Cheney Free Press -



Cheney Faith Center opens new building


John McCallum

Cheney Faith Center's new sanctuary gives the church the opportunity to host larger events like weddings, conferences and luncheons.

When the Cheney Faith Center submitted their plans for upgrades to their facility, they only intended adding 4,278 square feet, 3,278 square feet of which would be a new sanctuary. Those plans changed once church officials began looking over the building foundation.

"We were pretty certain that crack there wasn't up to code," Faith Center pastor Mark Posthuma said with a laugh Monday afternoon, June 23.

Cracks, parts that weren't level and other problems left the church with the inability to expand on the existing foundation. The result was a new building, virtually double in size at 8,993 square feet that also increased the cost to the church, coming close to $1 million, Posthuma said.

Those problems may have been a blessing as the new facility is state of the art, precipitated a lot through assistance from the city of Cheney Planning Department and other building officials. Posthuma said when they went to the city with their problems, planner Brett Lucas and director Todd Ableman were very accommodating, helping tweak plans and providing input on what could be done. As building commenced, Posthuma said inspectors offered suggestions on the process.

"And I'm really thankful for that and our body is thankful for that," Posthuma said.

While work still continues on paving and landscaping of the 13,746-square-foot parking lot, along with painting work on the church exterior, Cheney Faith Center re-opened by holding its first service in the new building last Sunday, with 325 people attending. The new building is very spacious, including not only a larger sanctuary but also a larger, more modern kitchen, spacious foyer and more meeting rooms.

"Before we had very little space for kids," Posthuma said. "Now, we have a whole wing."

The larger spaces will facilitate Cheney Faith Center's various missions, and allow it to think about holding functions it previously hadn't considered, such as weddings and large luncheons. The building systems are almost all state of the art, including a new sound system that Posthuma said comes with "a big learning curve," sensor-activated lighting controls and a heating, ventilating and air conditioning system.

"It allows us to do more things," Posthuma said. "It's much more comfortable - we didn't have HVAC before."

Posthuma said the church had saved funds for about eight years to do the work, and held a fundraiser to help with additional needs. Officials had looked at a number of different sites for the new facility, including outside of Cheney - an option Posthuma said they didn't really consider because of a desire to be in the city as a neighborhood church.

The church hopes to wrap up the exterior work in the next month or two and plans a dedication ceremony open to the public sometime this fall.

John McCallum can be reached at


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