The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

March 24, 2010

Church’s new youth center opens

By Kasey Fowler, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID — Hundreds of junior high and high school-age students raised the roof of the new Central Assembly of God Youth Center during the first service Wednesday night.

The sound of contemporary Christian music reverberated in the 17,000-square-foot building as the Central Assembly of God student band led the crowd in song. As the students sang, they batted beach balls around the crowd.

According to Kate Ward-well, a member of Central Assembly of God, church members hoped to have about 300 students for the opening night. They typically have 60 to 80 kids a week on Wednesday nights.

“We did school assemblies all week. We did seven since Monday to promote this,” she said. “We are giving them pizza and pop on their way out. We are doing a drawing for a TV and video camera.”

The speaker at school assemblies throughout the week also was the speaker for the opening night.

“We have a special speaker tonight, Chris Mancl. He talked about positive choice making at the schools,” Wardwell said. “Tonight he will speak from the Bible about how Jesus can change your life.”

The new building, named Ignition Life Center, includes several youth-oriented activities and areas.

“The new building in-cludes a full gym, a cafe, a foosball table, air hockey tables, a full kitchen and the sanctuary,” Wardwell said. “It also has bathrooms with showers. When we were at the other building there really wasn’t much for them to do there. It was just a sanctuary.”

According to Kevin Ward, senior pastor for Central Assembly of God, the building has been in the works for three years.

“From planning to completion, it was almost three years. It was kind of the fulfillment of a three-year dream,” he said.

The building is not quite complete. The gym still needs a proper floor and some finishing touches.

Although the building will focus on youth activities, it also will have other uses.

“It is for the young people, but it will also serve as our fellowship hall and special event center,” Ward said.

Every Wednesday there will be junior high and high school activities 7-8:30 p.m. and college activities 9-10 p.m. in the new youth center.

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