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Growing to meet the demand

Posted 2/18/14 (Tue)

By Stephanie Norman
Farmer Staff Writer

For nearly 36 years, Watford City Assembly of God has been welcoming the public to its family, faith and friend base.
Along with most other Watford City structures, the church congregations has outgrown its allotted space. The congregation is pulling together to build a $3 million expansion onto the church.
“It’s  hard to manage with the lack of space,” Head Pastor Sheldon McGorman said. “We began talking about expanding nearly four years ago. We outgrew the whole church so we had to think futuristically.”
What was originally a single room chapel, was converted into a church with balcony seating and an area for small groups to meet and a kitchen. The issue was there was nowhere for the children to go.
“We focus heavily on the entire family,” McGorman said. “We needed more space to accommodate the needs of the congregation.”
The expansion will include a new auditorium with seating for 400 people, and a smaller auditorium just for kids. There will be seven new classrooms for children and six more adult classrooms.
Nearly tripling in size, the church is going from 13,000 square feet to 39,000 square feet.
“Six hundred people on a Sunday could be achievable and comfortable,” Assistant Pastor Chad Petersen said. “Because of the people that call this church home, we are able to make this happen.”
In the auditorium, hanging on the wall above the stage where the live band plays each Sunday, is a giant puzzle. It’s not just any puzzle though; it represents the amount of money the congregation has raised to pay for the church construction.
“There are 288 pieces,” Petersen said. “Each piece represents a portion of the money the congregation has given.”
One puzzle piece signifies roughly $10,417. A puzzle piece is added to the wall for every $10,417 raised. So far, the church has $1.3 million toward the project.
“It’s the goal as a church to be financially responsible,” Petersen said. “This puzzle is our way of inviting the church congregation to be involved with the progress, not just spectators. It’s a visual way of showing the church where we are at.”
“Be a part of the miracle” is the slogan the church has come up with for this project, which will hopefully be completed by fall.
McGorman described the members of Assembly of God as being “resilient and giving.” This church welcomes families, individuals, and all ages and for any amount of time.
According to the pastor, he has seen many people come and go from Watford City. He said some people may only come one time, stay a few months, while others have made this their church home.
“God is trying to encourage us to love people and be intentional with helping them,” McGorman said. “We genuinely welcome people. It’s exciting to see this church continuing to be a part of this community, even though the community has changed so much. We focus on reaching out to peoples’ needs for however long they’re here.”
Along with Sunday morning services, Assembly of God also offers an Oilfield Christian Fellowship on Tuesdays, ministries on Wednesday evenings, Celebrate Recovery on Fridays, and a prayer meeting on Saturday nights.
“It’s comforting to people to know that we are glad to see them,” McGorman said. “We welcome them home.”
Assembly of God is located at 2117 S. Main Street, just one mile south of Watford City. Find them on Facebook for more information and updates.