Maryville church celebrates new facility with parade

9:50 PM, Nov 25, 2012   |    comments
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  • RIO Revolution Church members hold a parade, marching to their new Maryville facility
  • RIO Revolution Church members hold a parade, marching to their new Maryville facility
  • RIO Revolution Church members hold a parade, marching to their new Maryville facility
  • RIO Revolution Church members hold a parade, marching to their new Maryville facility
  • RIO Revolution Church members hold a parade, marching to their new Maryville facility
    

An East Tennessee church celebrated new beginnings Sunday by moving into a new facility.

After nearly six years worshiping in a local high school auditorium, members of RIO Revolution Church in Maryville officially met for service at their new home. Hundreds participated in a parade where members marched from the old meeting spot at Heritage High School to the new location on East Lamar Alexander Parkway.

"We had 39 people that met originally," said Pastor Hepperly. "And now we've just build a sanctuary that's got... 1000 seats. Church has grown to approximately 700 on a Sunday morning."

In addition to more seating, the new facility features several classrooms and a new light and sound system. Church leaders say they will continue to expand. Future plans include sporting fields, walking trails, an indoor basketball arena and eventually another sanctuary to seat several thousand more people.

"We've been planning and talking about the good things that God has in store for our church and so today's the celebration of it. Today's the day it's all come to pass," Hepperly said.

Doug Frye joined as one of the church's original members in 2007.

"The vision was to be able to make a difference in this county," he said. "Not just be a 'status quo' church, [but] something that's alive, something that's actually breathing."
    
As the congregation settles into their new home, Frye looks forward to many years ahead.

"Our grandchildren will be able to look back and say, 'My grandfather, grandmother, whoever ... was part of this, and now here we are getting to share into it, too. We're planning for the future."

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