Church expanding into Bennington

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BENNINGTON — Mission City Church of Rutland is opening its third campus location here at 416 Main St.



According to a press release, Tim Owens, the lead pastor at Mission City Church, "stands on the sidewalk in front of the new Bennington location and suggests where we stand is a great metaphor for life. With a chuckle he goes on to explain from this juncture one can turn right for craft beer, turn left for a massage or one can go straight for Jesus!"



Mission City Church Rutland merged with Summit Church, which used to occupy the Bennington location.



Pastor O, as he likes to be called, and six others after moving to Vermont from North Carolina started holding services in the living room of his Rutland home in 2014. From those beginnings, things happened quickly. "We moved six times in six months," he said. The last move was to the Diamond Run Mall in Rutland where they continue to hold services today and regularly see 400 in attendance over three weekend services.



Owens is quick to point out why Mission City — MCity for short — is different and seeing tremendous growth.



"The Lord has blessed us tremendously over the past three years," he said. "Like the early church, talked about in the book of Acts in the bible, our church is for everybody no matter where they are in their faith journey. We just get together, study the teachings of Jesus and support each other as we wrestle with applying it to our sometimes messy lives."



The store-front interior of the new location is modern with exposed ceilings, industrial style duct work, massive video screens and vivid color and lighting schemes. Displayed along one wall are the church founding principles and what Owens calls "Biblical Truth" — Jesus Only, People Matter, Multiplication, etc.



MCity's goal from the beginning was to make disciples and plant churches. As the Rutland campus grew they expanded services from just one on Sunday morning to two on Sundays and then to another on Thursday night for those who had to work weekends.



Word-of-mouth spread about MCity, and Owens and his team started seeing people from as far away as Williamstown, Mass., making the one-hour track to attend services. As this sunk-in, the idea of opening a Bennington location began to crystalize. Jake Stone, the location pastor for the Bennington campus said, "Opening a Bennington campus with the same unpretentious, all are welcome philosophy that allowed MCity Rutland to prosper made a lot of sense for our community."



Mission City Bennington will officially open on Sunday, March 4. Sunday services are held at 11 a.m. but as things get going more services to accommodate more people's schedules are sure to follow.



The church's website is: www.mcity.church.




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