Congregation settles into new home

Published 9:27 am Saturday, December 24, 2011

FRANKLIN—An early Christmas gift for pastor Matt Kidd and his Kingdom Life Ministries congregation came in the form of a $700,000 building that they can call their very own.

The Rev. Matt Kidd stands in front of the new church for Kingdom Life Ministries on Delaware Road. The $700,000 church opened in November for the more than 100 members of the Pentecostal congregation. -- Dale Liesch | TIDEWATER NEWS

Before the church moved into the building on Nov. 13, congregants spent almost six years borrowing space to hold church services.

“It’s just unbelievable,” Kidd said of the new building. “We’ve gone through the process of setting up and tearing down week after week. It takes a lot of dedicated people to do that.”

The 100-member Pentecostal church is an offshoot of a larger church based in Chesapeake, Kidd said.

A group of followers began meeting in 2005 and discussing starting a new branch of the church in the Franklin/Southampton area. They began having night services at Grace Lutheran Church on New Market Road, Kidd said.

In January 2007, Kidd was named lead pastor of what they called the Southampton campus of the church. In May 2007 the group began meeting at Hunterdale Elementary School.

The congregation met at the school until the summer of 2008, when they met at Southampton Academy for two months before moving back into the building that had once housed Hunterdale Elementary and stayed there from September 2008 to June 2010.

The congregation then met at Franklin Rental Center until October 2011.

“This opens up more ministry opportunities that would’ve been limited without a permanent building,” Kidd said.

The church purchased 3½ acres on which to build the church. Two-and-a-half acres have been cleared, Kidd said.

“We built it for further growth,” he said. “I feel like we can have some decent growth. You’re not landlocked where you can’t grow.”

The building has a 120-seat sanctuary, three offices, two classrooms and a multipurpose room in the 6,300-square-foot lower level. Upstairs there will be 3,600 square feet of space when finished. Kidd hopes to add a youth center, balcony and more classrooms upstairs.