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Mars Hill Church is on track to open its 15th church in Tacoma next year. The church currently has a contract to purchase the building of the First Congregational Church at 918 Division Ave, adjacent to Wright Park, on the north end of the downtown area. The 104-year-old building had been up for sale and was in danger of demolition this spring, KING 5 News reported in May. Mars Hill’s bid was accepted this summer; the church plans to spend about $1.5 million in improvements before starting services in the fall of 2013. The Tacoma church will be led by Bubba Jennings, who served as a pastor for almost a decade at the original Ballard church before moving to the South Sound region to get the Tacoma church plant going. On Thursday, September 27, the nascent church will hold a public Vision & Prayer Night to dedicate the church building. “God’s heart for Tacoma is displayed at the cross where, in mercy, Jesus sacrificed himself to redeem, heal, and bless Tacoma,” says Jennings. “As Christians, we testify that God saves sinners like us and his grace is amazing. Our heart is for all the people of Tacoma.” Local pastor Dean Curry of Life Center church gave a warm welcome to Mars Hill Tacoma. “[Bubba and I] are brothers in the faith and [I] will enthusiastically speak with and for their success,” wrote Curry, who leads the multi-site church that sees about 6,000 Sunday attenders. “We will invite every friend of Life Center to pray and consider joining Mars Hill’s launch.” On the north end of Puget Sound, Mars Hill Everett will move into a new home this fall: the Everett Armory, located at 2730 Oakes Ave, in the middle of the city’s historic district. The church, led by Pastor Scott Mitchell, launched in September 2011 and has met in rented space at Everett Community College’s fitness center for the past year. For 90 years, two Washington National Guard units were stationed at the Armory until last fall when the units moved, leaving the Armory up for sale. The 40,000-square foot Armory will be a boon to the young church, which hosts 500 attenders at two Sunday morning services and has outgrown its children’s space. Mars Hill Everett is also hosting a public Vision & Prayer Night, Thursday September 13. The populations of Tacoma and Everett are about 200,000 and 104,000, respectively, according to 2011 U.S. Census Bureau estimates. The news comes on the heels of the August 10 announcement that Mars Hill Downtown Seattle will move into the Daniels Recital Hall in the heart of the city.
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