CHAMPAIGN — A dozen years after Copper Creek Church got its start, it’s just months away from moving into the first building of its own.
The new church is under construction in southwest Champaign along Curtis Road, between Mattis Avenue and Duncan Road.
If all goes according to hopes, move-in day will be arriving about mid-summer, according to Lead Pastor Scott Keeble.
Copper Creek Church — which calls itself “a home for those who have given up on church” — was first launched in 2007 as a satellite of Champaign’s First Presbyterian Church.
The spinoff church has always been in rented spaces — first at Barkstall Elementary School and for the past seven years at the Stephens Family YMCA.
There’s been a lot of excitement about the new building, Keeble said. In addition to space for Sunday services, Copper Creek will finally have its own space for programs and activities during the week.
The approximately $5 million cost of the building project has been raised in pledges, Keeble said.
The church exterior, which has been designed with a barn style, is close to being finished, and work is well under way on the interior.
Inside will include an area for services with a stage, multi-purpose rooms, a coffee shop and an indoor play area for kids, Keeble said.
Space will also be made available for public gatherings, he said.
One advantage to meeting all these years in rented school and YMCA spaces has been that people who may have had a bad experience with a church have been able to feel comfortable walking into a Copper Creek service, according to Keeble.
The goal in designing the new church building has been to maintain that comfort level by creating a space in which people feel safe and welcome, he said.
“If people are uncomfortable with the idea of church, or being in a church space, they won’t feel like they are,” Keeble said.
Copper Creek Church services include music, scripture readings and, typically, a message that challenges people to think about things after they leave, he said.
Average attendance is about 200 for a service, though, Keeble said, “we don’t keep membership numbers.”
Nor does Copper Creek pass around a collection basket at services — another church turn-off for some people, Keeble said. Costs are covered by online giving, he said.
Attendance at Copper Creek has grown largely through word of mouth among those who have found themselves welcomed there, according to Keeble.
He recalled meeting an unmarried couple excluded from communion at another church because the two were living together, he said. That’s not how Copper Creek Church operates.
“We really feel that this whole love of God thing is intended to let people in, not set boundaries to keep people out,” Keeble said. “It’s pretty cool. It’s not going to be for everybody.”
If you’re looking for a church that will tell you everything, Copper Creek also won’t likely be for you, he said. This church welcomes questions and opinions.
“We think the questions are as valuable as the answers,” Keeble said.
In the months leading up to the move to the new building, Copper Creek Church is seeking partnerships with community groups looking for places to meet, Keeble said.
“We want it to be available to the community, so if there are groups looking for space for a program, we would be more than happy to cooperate with them,” he said.