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Hagerstown church is growing fast

March 10, 2001

Hagerstown church is growing fast



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

When the pastor of Crossroads Church first opened the doors to the church three months ago, he invited people to come see what God has made out of nothing.

Apparently many who came liked what they found. The congregation, which meets at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, ranges from 150 to 200 worshippers every Sunday morning for 9:30 a.m. services.

"We are actually outgrowing the parking lot," said Chuck Frank, pastor of this newest Brethren in Christ Church in Washington County.

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Nonetheless, Frank and his congregation are opening their hearts and their hands on Sunday, March 18, to anyone who wants to feel closer to God and to each other.

Joining Hands in Hagerstown will get under way at 6 p.m.

"This is our first attempt to gather the Brethren in Christ congregations here and around the Tri-State area," Frank said.

There will be a worship service, live music and the sharing of God stories, Frank said.

If the program is successful, plans will be made to have more.

The idea for the new congregation was conceived to counteract the growing trend of church nonattendance, which is as high as 65 to 70 percent of Americans, Frank said.

Many complain the message is boring and doesn't relate to daily living, while others believe most churches are more interested in their wallets than their souls.

Frank said Crossroads Church uses live music, drama, power point presentations and real-life messages to reach people in a casual, nonthreatening environment.

Starting last fall, more than 21,000 households in Washington County were telephoned to tell them of the new church, Frank said.

Then five weeks of direct mailings began, along with 2,000 door hangers with a "come as you are" caveman on the front.

"We even entered a float in the Hagerstown Mummers' Parade with a rock and roll band on it," Frank said.

Now, three months later, the church's own worship team band numbers 15 and is active at all services.

Anyone interested is invited to check out the church, either in person or by contacting the Web site at www.CrossroadsHagerstown.com.

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