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McKENZIE (January 5) — Overflow Church rang in the new year by beginning a new era for the young church. Hundreds of members and guests gathered Sunday for the first services at the …
McKENZIE (January 5) — Overflow Church rang in the new year by beginning a new era for the young church. Hundreds of members and guests gathered Sunday for the first services at the church’s new campus on Highland Drive in the former Wal-Mart/Rural King/Boyd’s building.
It was a culmination of more than two years of praying, planning, generosity and hard work on the part of many. Over $130,000 was raised for the renovation, including a $50,000 contribution from Rural King CEO Alex Melvin that came about through an unlikely series of events (detailed in last week’s edition of The Banner) involving a red Rural King hat. In fact, many such hats were worn at the church on Sunday.
Members and guests entered to see the familiar building transformed. A large welcome center serves as a cafe-style lounge for fellowship before, during and after each service. On the back wall is a large mural of McKenzie landmarks with “THIS IS OUR CITY” in big letters. To the left is “Kid-O’s,” a series of rooms including the kids’ worship area, classrooms and a “VIP room” for kids with parents serving during both morning services to hang out and have fun during one service. To the right of the welcome center is the sanctuary, which includes a full stage and an elevated tech booth.
With the sanctuary literally overflowing out into the welcome center, the service began with music by members of the church’s 19-member rotating worship team. Creative Pastor Josh Crawford led a prayer and then spoke about the move into the new building. He thanked the many people who made it possible and expressed his joy that “now we get to dream in here about the next thing,” declaring that “the future is unlimited with God.” He introduced Lead Pastor Alex Gallien and his wife, Sam, who serves as guest experience leader.
Pastor Gallien then delivered his sermon, centered around the message, “It’s all good.” A fitting statement for a celebratory day, but it was actually a lesson about forgiveness and God’s will overcoming evil acts.
He spoke about the story of Joseph from the book of Genesis. Joseph was the favorite son of Jacob, eliciting jealousy from his brothers, who sold him into slavery. Joseph endures many hardships, but his bad fortune eventually led to greatness as he saved many lives from a famine, including his brothers’. He revealed himself to his brothers and forgave them, saying that “You meant evil against me; but God meant it for good.”
The pastor explained that “God isn’t the author of evil,” and concluded that true faith comes in times of trouble, faith that God’s will is for good in the end.
The service closed with the worship team reprising “See a Victory” to bring it all together.
Between the two morning services, there were several special guests. Justin Clements and Travis Welch, insurance representatives from Indiana who first connected Overflow’s leaders with Rural King’s Melvin, attended the first service. On hand at the second were Tim and Vickie Boyd, the previous owners of the building. They are credited with helping in many ways during the process of Overflow acquiring the property.
In a post-service interview with The Banner, Gallien reacted to the big day. “I don’t know how to describe today, to be honest with you. We knew that it was going to be good, that it was going to be awesome. We had all those expectations. But we had sections roped off at 9 a.m., because we weren’t sure that many people were going to be here. Well, then 250 people show up at 9. And then over 300 show up at 11. So much so, that we couldn’t let them all into the sanctuary. We had to shut it off because it was already filled to max capacity. There had to be people sitting in the lobby watching it [on a live television feed].
“It’s felt like a work in progress that was never going to end. The last two weeks is when we really saw it coming together. We’ve just been so excited. I don’t think any of us expected this, to look out there two times in a row and see that entire parking lot filled to the brim. To see people raise their hands to start living for God, to give their lives to Jesus. We saw 140 kids—that’s just kids—come through here. Out wildest expectations were blown so far out of the water that we’re speechless.
“Our teams were just incredible. The giving nature of our church is the most incredible thing I’ve ever been a part of... We’re just so thankful for the support of the area, of McKenzie, of this community. Because it’s not just McKenzie, we had people from all the way from Jackson and Yuma and Huntingdon and Martin, all the way from Union City and Fulton. Just so thankful for the support of the community coming and making this day more special that we could have hoped that it was already going to be. Thankful for everyone who made it happen, everyone who gave. Beyond thankful just for the presence of God. Just to know that it was all for a purpose. People’s lives were impacted. People got connected to the church that don’t go to church. Some of these people go to other churches, no doubt about it, but there were a ton of people in here who don’t go to church at all. And that’s the goal. To find people who don’t have anywhere and to be that place for them. People who haven’t found what they’re looking for. Today was so encouraging, just to see that happen. To see people come and leave encouraged and, I think, floored by all that God has done just within this ministry and in this city.”
Crawford also spoke to The Banner about the experience. “Today was pretty surreal at the beginning. It was actually really overwhelming, like sensory overload. I went to the back and just prayed. I just needed to know that this is real. Seeing already the impact of where we’re at now, I mean, we had 650 people here, which is incredible on so many levels. A promise got fulfilled today. God really came through. We knew He would, we didn’t know when He would. Today was that first step of many that we’ll take. I’m so excited just to see the community, the investment we saw today. The people that came for the first time. I think the biggest thing for me today was, we finally got to do what we’ve always wanted to do. Being in the old building, being kind of limited by your space, by what you have, and the equipment. Today, we got to really do what we love to do. Everything you saw was what we love to do. We had so much fun. That was very freeing for all of us.
“I’ve been overwhelmed all day. It has not sunk in for me yet, exactly how I feel. Words have been hard. But I know that I felt the presence of God today, it was just amazing. It was so cool to see all these people that had a part, like Tim Boyd, who gave us so many yeses that were so important, and the guys from the insurance company, Justin Clements and Travis Welch. Not only that, but there were just so many people that came just to support us, friends and family. The overwhelming support of this town today, it’s huge, amazing. It just goes to show, when you want to do something, it takes a whole community to do it together. It has to be a focus. You can’t do anything big without a lot of people. Today was that.
“Our teams got to see for the first time what it’s like to really do what they’ve been doing. Like when you’re an usher and you seat people, it’s been kind of hard to do that where we were, but today they had to do it, a lot. It was probably overwhelming at times. Everybody that serves here really got to see what they do today, they really got to experience it. It’s exciting. I have no idea what’s next, I just know that right here is where we’re going to be. We’re going to grow and continue to do this thing and love this town. I’m blown away. And I know big things are coming. It shows, when you come together, this kind of stuff happens. Community is powerful.”
Overflow services are held Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The youth meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.