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Overflow Church to Worship in New Building Sunday

Massive Effort Includes Rural King CEO Contribution

Posted 12/31/19

McKENZIE — Overflow Church is poised to begin a new chapter in its unconventional story. Over two years of praying, planning, generosity and hard work will come to fruition on Sunday, January 5 when the first worship services are held in the church’s new location on Highland Drive.

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Overflow Church to Worship in New Building Sunday

Massive Effort Includes Rural King CEO Contribution

Posted

McKENZIE — Overflow Church is poised to begin a new chapter in its unconventional story. Over two years of praying, planning, generosity and hard work will come to fruition on Sunday, January 5 when the first worship services are held in the church’s new location on Highland Drive.

As the former home of Wal-Mart, Rural King and, most recently, Boyd’s, it’s one of McKenzie’s most familiar buildings when seen from the outside. But as soon as one walks in the front doors, it’s completely unrecognizable, a brand new space with its own distinct identity.

While Overflow’s journey has had delays, setbacks and uncertainty, the faith of its leaders and congregants has paid dividends both literal and spiritual. The extent of the renovation and the ambitious completion date were only possible because of the resounding response to fundraising efforts, and a huge chunk of those funds came about as a result of an unlikely and uncanny set of events.

Overflow Pastor Alex Gallien and his wife, Samantha, were at the Obion County Fair when he won a carnival game and chose a Rural King hat as a prize because of the history of his church’s future home.

Gallien was wearing the hat during a meeting a few days later with representatives of Indiana-based insurance company Remodel Health. Justin Clements (co-owner) and Travis Welch quickly learned that Overflow’s staff was too small for any of Remodel’s services, but when Clements noticed the hat, he noted Rural King CEO Alex Melvin is a personal friend. Gallien explained that the building was a former Rural King, further fueling the two reps’ interest. The pastor shared Overflow’s story and then gave the two a tour of the building. Clements offered to share what he’d seen with Melvin, a man of faith who looks to help organizations he believes in.

Gallien and the other church leaders were excited about the prospect and prayed about it, but made sure not to get their hopes up. At that point, they had only raised about a third of the approximately $40,000 needed for their renovation plans. Later that week, the church hosted a “vision night” to keep up the fundraising effort.

Two weeks later, Chelsea Butler, Overflow’s family pastor, fielded a call from Clements and Melvin confirming the CEO’s interest. A few hours later, Melvin and the church leaders have a lengthy conversation, which includes Melvin recalling standing in the building before Rural King opened. At the end of the talk, he makes his offer: if the church can raise at least $30,000, he will match up to $50,000.

The leaders announced the offer to the congregation to their great excitement. More funds began to come in, although slowly. Then, an anonymous donor (who is not even an Overflow attendee) gave $10,000, and by the next Sunday, the funds had reached $32,000. Over the following weeks, thanks in part to another anonymous $10,000 donation, the effort reached the $50,000 mark to receive the full match from Melvin. At last check, the campaign had brought in a total of $131,000.

In an interview with The Banner at the building on Highland, Gallien called it a “surprising, wild, faith-building experience.” And to the fact that $70,000 came from people who don’t attend the church, he said, “We’re still blown away.”

With all of the unexpected extra funds, the pastor said the church “can get in by January 5 and not hold back.” They’re able to do much more that was intended in the original budget.

When worshipers enter on Sunday, they’ll first see a cafe-style welcome center. On the back wall is a large mural of McKenzie landmarks with “THIS IS OUT 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. The “Kid-O’s” name is a callback to the children’s center on Broadway a few doors down from the old church. To the right of the welcome center is the sanctuary, which includes a full stage and an elevated tech booth.

For regular attendees (there are about 300), it will be quite a contrast from the previous location in the narrow building at 9 Broadway, where a final, bare-bones service was held on December 22 with little more than chairs and a Christmas tree. It will also be a welcome upgrade from the actual “first service” held at the Highland campus, a similarly bare-bones service held back in February 2017 to celebrate securing the new location.

Overflow services are held Sundays at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The youth meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

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