"We've been in the process of extending ourselves to befriend and partner with a number of churches, particularly smaller churches that don't have as many resources," said lead pastor Matt Zania. "We opened the door to a relationship with Northland; Ben Phebus, the pastor, open the door to a multisite partnership."
Sunday, September 17, is the official kickoff of the new partnership, with long-time BHBC pastor Don Pearson taking on the role of Northview campus pastor.
"We're excited to partner with existing programs such as Campus Life through Northview High School," said Pearson. "I can't wait to get started speaking, organizing programs and connecting with people."
Others on staff at the Northview campus of BHBC include Ray Sabon as associate pastor working with children and youth; Darrell Crawford, part-time, working with music and technology; and secretary Lisa Haan.
Both BHBC campuses will hold 9 a.m. and 10:50 a.m. services, though only one service is set for Sept. 17 at 10:50 a.m. at the Northview campus. There will be a full complement of children's and youth programs throughout the year, with Sunday evening events for middle and high school students.
The Northview campus of BHBC has seen changes in its physical space. The central auditorium received a complete redo, with the ceiling and carpet removed, acoustical features added, and the floor wired for the hearing impaired; the auditorium will also be able to be used for volleyball and other sports and games.
"We want that room used more often than just a couple of hours on Sunday morning," said Pearson.
The foyer has been restructured to add a coffee bar and seating areas, plus a men's bathroom added opposite the women's bathroom at the auditorium end of the building. A receptionist area now opens to the foyer. Painting and upgrading has been done throughout the main floor.
Both churches contributed to the $500,000 cost of the remodel; Phase 2, redoing the Northview campus basement, will come later.
"Our goal for the Northview campus is to have it become a hub for the community," said Pearson. "The location is central to the Plainfield corridor and Northview High School. We want to be part of the everyday life of the community."
Northland Baptist Church helped plant BHBC, which is celebrating it's 50th anniversary this month. Staff, budget and programs will reflect the new partnership of one church in two locations.
"Our dream is to reestablish a life-giving church in that immediate community," said Zania.
One Church, Two Locations
Kickoff date: Sunday, Sept. 17 at 10:50 am
Where: Northview campus of Blythefield Hills Baptist Church, 4162 Hunsberger Ave. NE, Grand Rapids