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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news April 30, 2016


11/7/2013 2:38:00 PM
River Community Fellowship church opens doors on Water Tank Hill
Sitting atop the water tank hill, (where the old smelter smokestack used to perch) the new church facility has a 360-degree view including much Cottonwood, Mingus Mountain, Clarkdale, and even a “box seat lookout” of fire works on the 4th of July. Courtesy photo
Sitting atop the water tank hill, (where the old smelter smokestack used to perch) the new church facility has a 360-degree view including much Cottonwood, Mingus Mountain, Clarkdale, and even a “box seat lookout” of fire works on the 4th of July. Courtesy photo
The Southwestern style facility seats about 180 people and also includes offices, classroom space, and a fellowship hall. Courtesy photo
The Southwestern style facility seats about 180 people and also includes offices, classroom space, and a fellowship hall. Courtesy photo
By Dave Arden
Special to The Verde Independent

Location. Location. Location.

It's not surprising that the builders behind the River Community Fellowship's new sanctuary have had a strong real estate background. The church took on the dream of developing one of the more unique locations in the Verde Valley-- and one of the more difficult.

Sitting atop the water tank hill, (where the old smelter smokestack used to perch) the new church facility has a 360-degree view including much Cottonwood, Mingus Mountain, Clarkdale, and even a "box seat lookout" of fire works on the 4th of July.

On Sunday, Nov. 3, the church held its grand opening and invited the community to hear their story.

Not your typical church construction venture, The River (as the church is often referred) had to essentially restore the hill in the center of town: bringing up a road, moving up hundreds of truckloads of dirt, creating a 250-foot retaining wall, bringing in utilities, and even installing a half mile of curbing and a parking lot.

Of course, then there's the 8,500-square-foot sanctuary itself which rests on the top.

The Southwestern style facility seats about 180 people and also includes offices, classroom space, and a fellowship hall.

"Nothing about this has been easy," church project manager Terry Witte said. "From the outset to completion, it has taken us 7 years."

To put this in perspective, that is like starting today in 2013 and not being able to reach the finish line until the year 2020.

Why would the church bother to invest so much into the heart of the city?

"Beyond just a lookout, we care deeply about our relationship with the community," says Pastor Dave. "The completion of this project is ultimately the result of great perseverance on the part of all those involved, including the patient church family."

Besides having a great view, the church has a strong worship ministry, a heart for the troubled soul, and a genuine desire to see lives changed for the better. The leadership team has many decades of ministry experience.

Instead of the 3 L's, the church also recounts many frustrations, vexations, and more frustrations in overcoming so many hurdles to get in. Just getting the guardrail posts in the hard ground along the road was an ordeal.

Indeed, few quotations can sum up the celebration of ... Seeing a dream finally fulfilled.

Taylor Waste

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