Ferriday Pentecostal church under construction

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

Ferriday &8212; Why is the United Pentecostal Church building a 1,200-person sanctuary on U.S. 84?

&8220;It&8217;s all we could afford to build,&8221; Pastor Gary Howington said of the $3 million Pentecostals of the Miss-Lou church.

&8220;We&8217;re optimistic.&8221;

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Realistic, as well.

The church has outgrown its current Lake Drive location; the 400 people it welcomes on Sundays have trouble parking and squeezing into the Ferriday church.

Add to that the Miss-Lou Christian Academy it runs from the property, and the Sunday school, and the outreach programs, and well, it&8217;s time for a bigger building.

&8220;Many people now drive away on Sundays because they can&8217;t park &8230; we believe that we&8217;re going to expand our congregation,&8221; Howington said.

He estimates an increase of around 200 members over time.

Other area Pentecostal churches have no reason to fear that the new church will poach their worshippers, however. Howington said they are all under the umbrella of the United Pentecostal International and don&8217;t do that sort of thing.

&8220;It&8217;s basically an ethics system, we&8217;re not reaching for anybody who is already attending another church,&8221; he said. &8220;We&8217;re trying to attract people out in the world.&8221;

A brand new church on the side of the highway is certainly a good way to do this, but Howington said it&8217;s what&8217;s inside that will count.

&8220;We&8217;re not building it on the Donald Trump-level of &8216;build it and they will come,&8217; we&8217;re building it in line with the spiritual concept,&8221; he said. &8220;We believe we were inspired to do this.&8221;