from Church on the Rise in Westlake break ground for a new youth
center July 17. (Photo by Larry Bennet)
on the Rise breaks ground for youth center
By Kevin Kelley
Published July 20, 2005
after leaders from Church on the Rise broke ground Sunday for their
new 24,000-square-foot STORMCENTER youth facility, a heavy rainstorm
Pastor Paul Endrei thought it was appropriate, and maybe even a
sign of divine approval of his church's newest project.
of the Church on the Rise congregation release balloons at the
groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo by Larry Bennet)
three-story, state-of-the-art facility will become home to the church's
STORM youth group, an acronym for Students Tired Of Religious Mediocrity.
Over 150 teens are currently involved in the program, which was
started six years ago. The group meets every Tuesday evening at
7 p.m. has its own worship band and Bible studies program.
At Saturday afternoon's groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Dennis Clough
praised Church on the Rise for its involvement in the community.
"This center will provide great opportunities to learn about the
messages of God while engaging in fun activities," Clough said.
Westlake Police Chief Wallings said the youth center, through its
structured activities, would reduce juvenile loitering and keep
kids out of trouble.
"The STORMCENTER will result in fewer tax dollars being spent on
juvenile crime," Wallings said. "When we invest in kids, we invest
in our future."
Endrei, who started the church in 1993, noted the $2.5 million center
would be more than just a place for teens to hang out.
"What's unique about our youth center is its combining excellence
in education, in recreation and in spiritual development," said
Endrei, who added church leaders visited eight youth centers across
America while developing STORMCENTER.
The center, which is scheduled to open in August 2006, will feature
an Internet café, a coffee shop, a video game room, a rock
climbing wall, and classrooms where students can get professional
tutoring. One floor will focus on the arts, with classrooms set
aside for painting and sculpting, dance, music and multimedia production.
The church has raised a quarter of the $2.5 million cost of the
center and is working on raising the rest, Endrei said.
At the groundbreaking ceremony, Rob Chaney said his participation
in STORM strengthened his relationship with Christ and helped him
make new friends. He said he hoped the new center will be "a space
where spiritual journeys begin and eventually take flight."
Youth Pastor Jeff Davidson said the youth center has been something
the Lord has led him to work on for several years. His goal is to
see it become so successful that people from churches across America
will travel to Westlake to see it.
"I really think this is going to be a model for the nation," he