(Photo: Saddleback Church/Don Haynes)
Saddleback Church, the multi-campus megachurch headed by pastor and author Rick Warren, will be going into a new facility in a California city.
Saddleback has signed a long-term lease for a facility for its San Clemente campus, which boasts an estimated 2,500 members and has been meeting at a local high school. Led by Scott Hitzel, the congregation hopes to move into the completely renovated facility by Easter Sunday, 2013.
Regarding the move to the new facility, many local clergy have expressed support for the rise of the Saddleback satellite campus in their neighborhood.
Pondo Vleisides, senior pastor at Talega Life Church, told The Christian Post that he was happy for the satellite campus' progress.
"I am glad to see Saddleback San Clemente find a home after years of weekly setup at San Clemente High School. The use of such a big building will be interesting," said Vleisides. "I like Rick Warren and all that he has done to connect people to God and to each other …. I wish them a huge success."
George Hulse, pastor at The Shoreline Church of San Clemente, told The Christian Post that he was glad to have "another Bible-believing, Christ honoring church in the ever increasing population of San Clemente."
"Saddleback Church has had a strong and lasting influence for the Good News of Jesus over the past 3 decades and they are a welcome addition to our wonderful city," said Hulse.
"The Shoreline Church received a warm welcome from the local pastors at a prayer meeting nearly 13 years ago, and we are now pleased and blessed to extend that welcome to Saddleback Church."
Hulse also told CP that he had a high opinion of the satellite campus' pastor, describing Hitzel as a devout Christian.
"Scott Hitzel has a gentle and kind heart as one who follows Jesus, and a strong story of how the Lord led he and his family to pastor here in San Clemente. We stand beside them as we reach out in the love of Jesus to this wonderful city," said Hulse.
"The churches that believe the Bible and follow Jesus are all on the same team, and even more than that, we are in the same family. We look forward to what the Good Lord wants to do in and through Saddleback Church and their new facility for the good of San Clemente and all of its varied people."
At present, Saddleback is working on the new facility to give it a new auditorium and space for administrative offices and various programs.