• November 29, 2014

Vintage Church offers new take on weekly service

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Posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 4:30 am

HARKER HEIGHTS — A new church is taking a different approach to its typical Sunday service.

Vintage Church, of Harker Heights, will host its launch service at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Cinemark theater at Market Heights.

Since arriving in town in June, Pastor Stephen Thomas Martin and his wife, Kyla, have begun building a modern, millennial-focused congregation

Starting with interest meetings in July, which grew into weekly services, Martin’s goal was to build relationships.

“The first meetings were about why we are here and what a church should look like — faithful, loving, generous, like Jesus,” he said.

Eventually, Vintage Church paired with the Association of Related Churches and raised more than $120,000 to compile gear and create a “church on wheels.” This method allows the church to set up at the theater in as little as 45 minutes, allowing participants to enter a laid-back, open Sunday setting.

The Martins ended up in Killeen for a number of reasons. Kyla took on a

position as a doctor in the Army, serving as a family physician at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center after the couple selected to live in the greater Fort Hood area. They knew they wanted to settle in Texas, and visited several locations, praying over the best choice.

Central Texas turned out to be the right place at the right time.

“People have been really receptive here ... there are not a lot of non-denominational congregations who service young families,” Martin said.

Initially, he imagined they would host their services in a school setting. But after viewing a friend’s church service at a Cinemark in Rosenberg, Martin realized the space would work well for his vision in Harker Heights.

“The lobby will be set up like a church foyer, and we’ll have coffee and refreshments,” Martin said, along with their signage and music.

The auditorium to be utilized for the service will include a stage, lighting and video capability. “We’ll own the space,” Martin said.

Next door, a kids’ auditorium will have room for 150 children.

At this time, Vintage Church fluctuates between 80 and 90 congregants and several staff members.

Martin and his wife have been doing full-time ministry for more than 12 years, beginning in their hometown of Tulsa, Okla., before moving to St. Louis, and eventually Denver, where Kyla completed medical school.

For the Martins, their message is simple. “To us, church is family, a spiritual family. Family can be messy but it’s also stable. It brings joy,” Martin said.

The pastor invites anyone to attend their Sunday services.

“If you’re new to faith or without faith, you should feel welcome. We want to remove the barriers and give people a picture of who Jesus is,” he said.

Their contemporary service will do just that.

“Church should be an enjoyable weekly experience,” Martin said.

Christyn Morgan, one of the earliest congregants who served as part of the launch team, has fallen in love with what Vintage Church stands for to her—home.

She has experienced unprecedented spiritual growth since becoming involved with the church this past summer after God called her family away from their last church.

“It was nerve-wracking, not knowing where He was guiding us,” she said. “But (Vintage Church) has such a heart for the community and building and uplifting its congregation.” Now, she considers fellow member friends she can call family.

“I’m excited to see all these amazing parts come together,” she said of Sunday’s service.

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