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East Point congregation relocating to Coweta

A church operating in East Point for more than a half century got its wish last week and was granted a conditional use permit to build a new building on U.S. Highway 29 near Arbor Springs Plantation and move the congregation to Coweta County.

County Planning Director Robert Tolleson said East Point-based Southwest Christian Church is acquiring property on Hwy. 29 to the north and east of Arbor Springs Plantation and is proposing to build the facility in phases.

In the first phase, the total square footage proposed for the multi-purpose building will be 25,315 sq. ft. The main level of 15,541 sq. ft. will encompass the worship center with church offices, adult classrooms, a kitchen and restrooms. The upper level of 2,187 sq. ft. will provide a youth center with additional classrooms and attic space. The lower level of 7,587 sq. ft. includes the nursery and childrens’ classrooms.

The second phase will incorporate the main assembly area while freeing up the previous worship center area to be used as other ministry opportunities. With the future growth and building expansion of the church, the goal is to provide a youth center building to allow for the young people to have “their own place,” a valuable tool in growing a church, said Tolleson.

For recreational purposes, the church has proposed a multi-purpose athletic field running parallel with Hwy. 29 at the southwest corner of the property. The church said the field will be only for church use and will not have lights associated with it, Tolleson said.

“We’re excited about coming to the county,” pastor Craig Kingston told commissioners, adding that the church has been in East Point for 56 years. ”Many of our members have moved here.”
Kingston said the church takes an active role in the community.

Chairman Bob Blackburn responded, saying he had heard only good things about the church.

Prior to the unanimous approval Kingston said the church is closing on 15 acres with an option to acquire an additional 10 acres.

The Board of Zoning Appeals and the Coweta Planning Dept. both recommended approval of the conditional use permit.

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