A new Assemblies of God church will begin services Sunday, Sept. 17 in the Cinemark movie complex.
Called Transformation Church, the new church will take place in a 150-seat theater with one service at 10 a.m. Manny Lundy, the worship pastor and a 2017 graduate, said New Hope Church is planting Transformation Church, but the churches have separate funds and staffing. The lead pastors, Michael and Carolyn Chandler, previously served at New Hope Church.
Lundy served a as a worship leader for Immersed Chapels in his sophomore through senior years. Although he had been leading worship at New Hope for several years before that, he said leading in Moody Coliseum helped him overcome nervousness.
“Immersed really stretched me as far as getting over the fear of people,” Lundy said. “Now it’s like second nature. I’m still nervous for sure. I think I’d be worried if I wasn’t nervous because I don’t want to bring in that attitude that’s like ‘I got this.’ I’m leaning on God in this whole experience.”
Transformation advertised to freshmen during the Wildcat Week church fair and has used social media, flyers and billboards to inform the city about its first meeting. About 50 people from New Hope Church will join the initial volunteer team. Lundy said the church has a non-denominational atmosphere although it follows Assemblies of God doctrines.
The church does not have plans yet to move to a brick-and-mortar church building, and Lundy said being in a theater will help new attendees feel comfortable.
“A lot of people feel church is a place where they get judged or criticized,” Lundy said. “If we bring the church inside of a movie theater, something that looks nothing like a church building, people are going to become curious.”
Michael Chandler, the lead pastor, served as a worship pastor at New Hope Church for 12 years, according to the church website.