On the move … Meeker churches swap buildings

John Brown, left, Bob Lange, right, and Burnie Cox, kneeling, helped take down the sign for The Church at Meeker on Sunday as part of the church’s move to a new meeting place on the west side of town.

 John Brown, left, Bob Lange, right, and Burnie Cox, kneeling, helped take down the sign for The Church at Meeker on Sunday as part of the church’s move to a new meeting place on the west side of town.
John Brown, left, Bob Lange, right, and Burnie Cox, kneeling, helped take down the sign for The Church at Meeker on Sunday as part of the church’s move to a new meeting place on the west side of town.
MEEKER I Talk about a church on the move.
Actually, this involves two churches on the move.
The Church at Meeker and New Creation Family Church have swapped buildings. Following services Sunday, parishioners from both congregations pitched in and, all in one afternoon, the two churches had switched locations.
“I knew they had more people, and we had less,” said Pat Turner, pastor of New Creation Family Church. “I just prayed about it, and it seemed like a good idea. So, I asked (Mike Dinwiddie, pastor of The Church at Meeker) if they were interested in switching with us, and they were.”
“He (Turner) knew we were kind of bustin’ at the seams, so he asked if we would switch,” Dinwiddie said. “It was pretty amazing they would ask us to do that.”
With the move, The Church at Meeker will meet at its new location at 1287 Market St., while New Creation Family Church — now called Frontier Fellowship — will gather at the log cabin at 345 Main St.
Both churches lease their respective facilities. Jerry Belland owns the building on Market Street, while the Meeker School District owns the log cabin on Main Street.
“We used to use it as a kindergarten, then it was the alternative school, and since then churches have been in it,” Mary Strang, president of the Meeker School Board, said of the log cabin building owned by the school district.
“You could tell by the old carpet (in the log cabin) that it had been a kindergarten,” The Church at Meeker pastor Dinwiddie said with a laugh. “There was a lot of painting going on.”
Renae Neilson, Rio Blanco County assessor, said the log cabin on Main Street is the former Marvine country schoolhouse, which was later moved to town.
Besides having a new location, the former New Creation Family Church decided to take on a new name.
“We’ve been considering (the name change) for several years,” said church pastor Turner. “It just seems like a good fit for the area.”
Both pastors have day jobs — Turner has his own construction business, while Dinwiddie is the GIS (geographic information system) specialist for the Rio Blanco County Planning Department — and both churches are relatively new in the community.
Turner said the church formerly called New Creation, which began in May 1998, had been meeting at the building on Market Street since the early 2000s.
“We were in the Halandras building before that, and we started out at the Fairfield Center,” Turner said.
The Church at Meeker pastor Dinwiddie said the church was meeting at the log cabin on Main Street when he came to town three years ago, but had outgrown the facility.
“It would max out at about 61 or 62 chairs, so sometimes people were standing,” Dinwiddie said. “We run anywhere from 50 to 70, so (the log cabin) just wasn’t big enough. The new building will accommodate closer to 75 or 100, so we have room to grow.”
Both churches will hold services for the first time in their new meeting places this Sunday, though it’s possible some churchgoers could show up at the old locations, out of habit.
“I thought it might be funny if they did,” said Frontier Fellowship pastor Turner. “(Both churches) have different service times, so (if someone shows up at the wrong location), they will show up in the middle of something.”