Vitalize Church will soon have a building to call its own for its Sunday worship services. After years of sharing space with Westlake Cinema, the church is moving into the former Westlake Lighting building beside Carilion Wellness Westlake.
Pastor Tony Gray made the announcement to members during the church’s Aug. 18 service. He said plans had been in place since April to move into the building, but decided to wait until everything was finalized.
Over the past few years, church members had gotten their hopes up that they would be moving to a new location. Gray said originally the church intended to move into a space in the former Food Lion Shopping Center at Westlake Corner before plans fell through. Plans to construct a church on a piece of donated land on Burnt Chimney Road also fell through.
“We had actually given up,” Gray said of plans to move. However, that changed when he received a call from The Willard Companies, which owns the building that once housed Westlake Lighting.
Work to remodel the space began Sept. 2. Gray said church members were invited to see the new space and help with some of the demolition.
Members also have stepped up to help in the remodeling, including one who is a licensed contractor. “We are going to do nearly all of the work ourselves,” Gray said.
Moving to the new location will help reduce the amount of work required to set up and tear down equipment at Westlake Cinema each Sunday.
Gray said church members arrive as early as 6 a.m. to set up for the first service that begins at 9 a.m. each week. They also have to quickly put everything away before the theater’s first movie showing at noon.
If the remodeling goes according to plan, Gray said work should be completed in about two months. “We think we will be done by the first of November,” he said.