By Michelle Williams
Each weekend, the Hamilton Southeastern Freshman Center is transformed into a place of worship. It currently serves as the temporary site for the newest campus of Grace Church, with the main campus located on 146th Street in Noblesville.
The leaders at Grace Church carefully selected the east side of Fishers as the first area of expansion in what has become a multi-year initiative. Although land has been purchased at 126th and Olio Road to host the permanent location for the Grace Church Fishers campus, the temporary site was planned to be used for a period of about two years.
“It’s all fairly theoretical until you have a leader,” says Kevin Roth, pastor for the Grace Fishers campus. The pastor plays a significant role in creating the timeline for permanent plans. Although no date has been set to break ground yet, Roth says the leaders plan to meet with the Fishers congregation in the near future to share next steps for the new site.
Each weekend, the temporary campus takes on a semblance of what it will be in a permanent setting. The Fishers campus currently has five dedicated staff members, a core team of volunteers, five kids classrooms, two student ministry groups and even its own band.
The amount of volunteer work that goes into setup and tear-down each weekend may seem staggering to some. Crews begin the setup process at 5 a.m. on Sunday mornings, putting away cafeteria tables and transforming the space into a fully-functioning sanctuary with a stage for the band. When Sunday services are done, those same volunteers go back to work packing up and resetting the cafeteria where students will gather the following day.
An average of 700 people attend the Grace Fishers campus each weekend. “It’s honestly a little crazy, but it’s also a lot of fun,” says Roth, speaking about the comradery of the Fishers group. “People are connecting with one another.”