Creig P. Sherburne/Atascadero News - Crossroads Community Church is getting ready to open in the old Lakeside Christian Church building at 9685 Morro Road in Atascadero.
ATASCADERO — There’s a new church coming to town. Crossroads North County will open for the first time on Sunday, July 15 at 10 a.m. in what used to be the chapel that housed Lakeside Christian Church.
While it’s a new church, it’s got some old players. Pastor Roger Williams said that he was once a pastor in Atascadero, but had to leave when the city passed an ordinance saying that a church could not be housed in a commercial building in approximately 1995.
After that, the Atascadero Vineyard Christian Fellowship lived off Ramada Drive in Paso Robles until the Firestone-Walker Brewing Company bought the building the church was housed in. Williams preached at Park Cinemas on Sunday mornings for two years following that transaction.
“Coming back to Atascadero after all these years, we wanted a fresh start,” Williams said.
Which is why, he added, the church even opted for a name change.
“We’re at a crossroads; we’re ready for a new beginning,” he said. “Many people are, too. We’re ready to help them along on a new pathway.”
Williams said the transition from a permanent church on Ramada Drive to being a temporary church that set itself up and tore itself down before and after each sermon was a difficult one, and that it’s something of a relief to be back in an actual building. He said that preaching in the movie theater wasn’t good for the congregation, which shrank considerably during that time.
The new building itself is more than 11,000 square feet and set on four acres. Its large size allows for a preschool on premises. That preschool is Little Lambs Preschool, currently located on the premises of Atascadero First Assembly of God.
Little Lambs owner Jamie LeMoine-Becerra said the move is good for everybody involved. She said that First Assembly is growing and doing a lot of light remodeling inside, so her vacating is freeing up more space for the growing congregation. Meanwhile, the move to Crossroads is good for her because it is so centrally located in Atascadero and part of the service she provides includes driving children to and from school.
“[First Assembly] gave us a great big bear hug and supported us moving to our new location,” LeMoine-Becerra said. “[Crossroads] has been very welcoming.”
Atascadero First Assembly of God pastor Rick Comstock agreed, saying that it’s been a great 10 years working with Little Lambs, but state licensing laws limited who could be on the premises when the kids were there. Comstock said that while keeping the preschool open was the highest priority, the church was interested in reclaiming its facilities.
“We’re excited that the preschool still exists, that was really important to us,” Comstock said. “We get to reclaim our facility, Jamie gets to keep going with the preschool … and Roger gets a preschool which I knew he wanted. … I don’t think this could have turned out any better, to be honest.”
For Williams, the move is a good one not just because of the location or permanency, or even that it’s a new start. It’s good because his wife, Tricia Williams, has owned Healthy Inspirations in Atascadero and Paso Robles for years and years and the couple lives about a mile from church.
And, he said, the church is being welcomed to Atascadero with open arms from the local pastors.
“I’ve been praying with the local pastors for 18 years,” Williams said. “There’s no competition, but there’s a lot of support.
Williams said that sermons will take place on Sundays at 10 a.m. through the foreseeable future.
Crossroads North County is located at 9685 Morro Road in Atascadero. Little Lambs will open at the same location on Aug. 1. For more information on Crossroads, call 462-2220 or go to www.crossroadsnorthcounty.com. For more information on Little Lambs, call 462-0433.For the complete article see the 07-11-2012 issue.
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