From Darkness to Light in Salmon Arm, BC

The Live Wire, a night club well known by those in the ambulance and police services in Salmon Arm, BC, did not have the best reputation.  The club was eventually shut down and was sitting empty when Pastor Ken Dryden and members of Lakeside Community Church went to check out the space.
The back story to this visit: for the past four years Lakeside Community Church had been meeting in a school gymnasium but they were feeling the limitations of that arrangement so after a congregational survey they decided to begin the search for a new home.
They checked out a variety of facilities and many met their space and location criteria but were more than they could take on financially.  The one location that met all their criteria was The Live Wire.  It had ample space for ministry and worship, a downtown location and the price was right. 
In fact the price was better than right as Ken explained, “We felt like we needed to ask for some almost outrageous things because we really felt like God was in it.”  The team negotiated eleven months of free rent and a five year lease with the option to renew.  That’s a pretty sweet deal.  It sounds like God was in it.  The congregation was in it too.  They voted unanimously to sign the lease and let the renovations begin.
To make the most of their free rent they began demolition/renovation immediately upon receiving the keys in mid-January.  The congregation participated in demo, painting, cleaning and anywhere else they could lend a hand.  The larger projects like electrical, plumbing and dry walling were contracted out.  The renovation took two and a half months and the first worship service in the new space happened on Easter Sunday.
Now that they are in their new digs, Ken and his leadership team are in the process of gazing at the unimagined.  As Ken said, “Now that God has put this in our lap and we have this opportunity, what is He calling us to do?”  
The new space includes a kitchen, coffee room, library, two classrooms, nursery, washrooms, sound room and worship space.  Check out the photos to see the dark to light transformation.  
There are many opportunities and ideas being shared about how to use the space as Ken explained, “We are just trying to figure out what God has for us right at this point.”
What is clear is that this congregation wants to be connected to the community.  They want to share their space with the local art and music scene.  They want to grow their compassionate ministries. They want to build bridges to organizations and businesses in the downtown core.  They want to further develop friendships and have the community hang out in their new space.
I think Ken and his congregation got a head start on this gazing at the unimagined stuff.  It is exciting to imagine what is to follow.
To see photos of the new digs click here:
By Alison McKinnon
Social Media Journalist