- (Photo: Hillsong)
A fast-growing North Carolina megachurch has been given approval to expand its facilities to include a new 22-acre site.
Elevation Church, the multi-site worship community headed by Pastor Steven Furtick, received unanimous approval by the Charlotte City Council on Monday for a new site. Set to be located in the Ballantyne neighborhood of Charlotte, Elevation Church has major plans for the location, according to local media.
"The church wants to construct a 264,000-square-foot building, which would include a 42,000-square-foot worship center with 1,600 seats," wrote Steve Harrison of the Charlotte Observer. "The church may also build a 22,000 square-foot children's ministry and a 200,000 square-foot office, according to its rezoning application with the city."
The Ballantyne site was one of the three locations that Elevation Church raised $8.2 million to purchase. The other two were Lake Norman and University City.
For the Lake Norman location, Elevation will be using and renovating an old performing arts center known as the Palace Theatre. Cornelius Board of Commissioners granted Elevation Church approval for that site in April.
In an earlier interview with The Christian Post, Tonia Bendickson, Elevation's director of outreach and communications, explained that they were "thrilled" with the approval.
"We look forward to becoming an integral part of this amazing community. We are grateful for the board's decision and look forward to being a great neighbor," said Bendickson.
"We've found that hundreds of our regular volunteers are already engaged at Elevation locations all over our city and commute from the Lake Norman area every weekend…So we know there's an opportunity for God to move and grow the body of Christ in that area."
Founded in 2006, Elevation Church has several campuses where worship takes place, most of which are located in the Charlotte area.
In addition to church sites, according to its website, Elevation also has "Extension sites" at various college campuses and other facilities like prisons and military installations.
"The vision is the same as always: to see people far from God raised to life in Christ. But the strategy is completely new," reads an entry on Elevation's website. "Elevation Extension reaches beyond the city of Charlotte and empowers virtually anyone, anywhere to join the vision of Elevation Church."
News of the City Council's approval came as Elevation concluded its annual "Love Week" observance, wherein the megachurch partners with others to advance various volunteer projects.
Elevation Church did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.