SALVATION Army captains Deb and Jim VanderHeyden at what will soon be their new church – the former Christ Lutheran Church on the corner of Sparks and Park. Margaret Speirs photo

Terrace, B.C. Salvation Army finds new church home

And it’s a building that has already served as a church

THE former Terrace Lutheran Church building on the corner of Sparks St. and Park Ave. is heading toward being a place of worship once again.

The Salvation Army is leasing the building from owner Michael Hogg for five years because it needs more space for its thrift store and food bank services at its current Kalum St. location.

“The store and our family services are bursting at the seams,” said Salvation Army Captain Deb VanderHeyden June 14.

The store would grow into the current church space and more space is needed with breakfast programs and youth feeding programs in the summer.

“We just need more space for all of that and this will allow us to have some breathing room,” said VanderHeyden.

Hogg has applied to the city for a rezoning, a process that began at the city council meeting June 12.

City planner Tara Irwin asked council to approve a site specific text amendment to add “place of worship” to the zone list of site specific permitted uses.

Hogg, who purchased the lot and building in 2015, first intended to demolish the building and use it as more parking for the Lazelle Mini Mall to the south, then renovated the building and landscaped it, intending to lease it to a commercial tenant.

VanderHeyden said the Salvation Army looked around town at other buildings but some were too big and others were not suited to being a church.

“Because that was a church, it’s better suited to our needs and the renovation is beautiful,” she said about the former Lutheran church. “We think it’s a good fit for us now,” she said.

“We just feel we could be of value to the people in the community here,” she added of the location.

VanderHeyden said that they will be able to increase the family services department, which is their counselling and food bank, that’s “crammed” into the space it currently has.

Christ Lutheran Church celebrated 60 years of service in 2014 but also closed that year because of a declining congregation.