In the fall of 2002, West Side Community Church began with the simple vision of caring about real people with real problems by giving real answers. Pastor John Clark and his wife Michele opened their home and said, “If in the first year, thirty-five people were all that showed up – we would be thrilled”. In less than three weeks we outgrew their home with more than forty people attending the first few services. So we moved to a one room school house.
Within the next four weeks, more than 100 people were attending West Side on Sunday mornings. We moved again! This time we rented the county park’s facility, Twin Lakes Lodge. By the time Easter Sunday arrived, we had outgrown the lodge with more than 200 people each weekend – and we were just six months old! We moved again, and began renting the auditorium at Traverse City West Senior High School. The facility was perfect for our ministries…and we had room to grow.
During this same period of time, God called us to purchase 20 acres of property, start new ministries, and expand our outreach services. With all of the growth we had experienced, we now needed to rent three different facilities each week just to meet the needs of our church family. As we continued to move, so did God!
West Side experienced the challenge of outgrowing the high school. With more than one thousand people calling West Side their home church and weekend service attendances nearing 600 people, we were in need of something larger! Since moving into our new building in the fall of 2008, weekend attendances have increased to over 1,500 – with more than 3,000 people calling West Side “Home.”
In 2008, West Side Community Church constructed a 20,000 square foot Ministry Center located on M-72 West, near Solon Road. It allowed us to expand our ministry potential to the community and meet the needs of those who call West Side home.
The new building features a multi-purpose room that serves as the worship center and fellowship area. Large classrooms and a spacious meeting room cater to the needs of our Christian Education and student ministries. Additionally, a comfortable and safe nursery and toddler space with a private nursing mother’s room and restroom serve our young families.
For us at West Side, the sole purpose of building this church has always been about people. Our hearts are for people first. Our prayer is that this facility will be a lighthouse to those in need of a safe harbor during the storms of their lives–a place that is loving, accepting and nurturing to the community and world around us. We are committed to completing the mission, passion and vision of Christ!