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Permit approved for new church building

John Dickey

The 1,400 members of a growing church will have a new building to match their thriving congregation.

The Nevada County Planning Commission unanimously approved a use permit Thursday for the Twin Cities Church building, which will be located at Ridge Road and Rough and Ready Highway. This is the first building for the congregation, which has held services in rented facilities.

The decision met with applause from churchgoers who packed the Board Chambers, where the commission met to hear the church’s application for the use permit.

The church’s parking lot was reworked to spread parked cars around the building, breaking up what was previously a large block of cars.

Construction will start on the 41,556-square-foot building in the summer, said the Rev. Ron Thompson. The church is expected to be finished by the fall of 2004.

The building’s completion will be the culmination of years of work by the congregation, which started in March 1992 with six families and bought the land in June 2000.

The congregation’s growth has put it in the ranks of other large western Nevada County churches. St. Patrick’s Church in Grass Valley serves about 1,500 families. Calvary Chapel of Grass Valley, located in the south county, has a fellowship of 1,200 adults.

Since its beginning, the mission of Twin Cities Church has been to focus on the “unchurched,” said Thompson, which led to a growing congregation.

The new building will provide space for meetings; workshops for divorce recovery, addiction and parenting; and other activities.

“As long as we are temporary renters, which is what had been, we had not been able to fulfill our mission, which is to help people,” said Thompson.

Renting a building also takes a lot of volunteer energy, which is needed to set up a portable church. On Sundays, 60 church members start as early as 5 a.m. to set up for church and school at the Veterans Building and Hennessy School on South Auburn Street in Grass Valley.

“We just want our own structure so we don’t have to rent,” said Mike Nevius, who, with wife LaVita Nevius, is among the church’s founders.

Despite the labor, the church manages to put on services with plays and music. But no matter how much they enjoy the services they have now, members are looking forward to a building of their own.

“We are renting space now, have been for 10 years,” said Judi Wade, office manager and congregation member. “This has been a dream, to have a building of our own.”

– Doug Mattson contributed to this article.

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