Cross Church on Birdcreek, formerly known as Temple Brethren Church, will celebrate a new beginning with a new name, new look and new style of worship.
The church, which has been part of Temple for 105 years, has launched a campaign to “replant” itself in order to fit the needs of the community.
An open house and ribbon cutting will begin 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 2202 Birdcreek Drive in Temple. Everyone is invited for open house tours and refreshments.
A celebration weekend will take place Sept. 6-8. Gayle Farrow, president of the board of elders, said the weekend will begin 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, with an hour of worship in the sanctuary featuring modern praise music. Before the message is delivered, middle and high school students will have an opportunity to move to the fellowship hall for their own Youth Bash led by Kingdom Grind, a Christian rap group from Copperas Cove. The bash will include live music, games, pizza and fun times.
The weekend will continue 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, with a community gathering and barbeque fundraiser. Farrow said $10 barbeque plates will be provided by Mike Urbanke.
“I think he has quite a following because of his delicious barbeque,” she said.
Farrow said the fundraiser will benefit the ministries the church supports, including Churches Touching Lives for Christ, Feed My Sheep, and the Y4HIM Youth Group.
The gathering will also have live music, guest speakers and a kid corner with bounce houses and free snow cones.
The weekend will conclude 10:45 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 8, with a modern worship service.
Farrow said the church leadership determined that younger audiences would prefer a more modern worship experience.
“We still embrace some of the classic songs – ‘How Great Thou Art,’ ‘Amazing Grace’ – the songs we all still and always will love, but we’ve added the modern music to satisfy the desires of today’s population,” she said.
The Rev. Tim Chaplin, pastor, said the church worshiped in a traditional style for more than 100 years, and has recently moved to a more contemporary style of music and worship in general.
“We still have some of the old, but we’ve mixed in some of the new,” he said.
Chaplin said they also made some physical changes to the sanctuary to make it more contemporary and inviting.
“The message is always the same,” he said. “The gospel does not change, that’s always the same. The word of God is the same, but the way I deliver that, I try to do that in a way that’s a little more relaxed; hopefully a little more inviting to people.”
Chaplin said he hopes to deliver God’s message in a way that’s practical and will make people walk out feeling like they can apply it to their lives.
He said the new name, Cross Church, represents the Christian denomination, celebrating the crucifixion and the resurrection.
“We wanted to go with something that sounded a little more contemporary, but at the same time expresses who we are and what we believe,” he said.
Chaplin said the church is still part of the Unity of the Brethren denomination, but taking the labels off will hopefully give the church an opportunity to meet some newcomers face-to-face and share who they are.
“Because we are a small, wonderful denomination that has wonderful history,” he said. “We’re just trying to change that first impression and hopefully have an opportunity to share who we are and what we are before people cast judgment against something they don’t understand or don’t know.”
Chaplin said the idea for the celebration weekend is for people to understand there’s a place they can go to find encouragement and strength and someone to walk along side them.
“And we want people to understand that we want to be that church,” he said.