Leader Blues

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

TOP STORY >> Church will build apartments

Leader staff writer

CrossPointe Church of Cabot will soon build its own 15,000-square-foot church and 10 duplexes on South Polk Street for recovering addicts.

The church now holds services in a commercial building on West Myrtle Street in Cabot for recovering addicts.

Why apartments?

“That’s the kind of ministry we have,” Pastor Russell Stewart said after the planned unit development between the railroad tracks and Second Street breezed through the city council Monday night with unanimous vote among the seven aldermen present.

The homepage of the church Web site defines its ministry this way: “Worship at CrossPointe is like being at an old friend’s house. We’re the kind of place where it’s not about the clothes on your back, but the hunger in your heart.”

It’s a church that targets two distinct groups, Stewart said: those who have never been involved in church and those who have become disillusioned with it.

In a more narrow sense, CrossPointe Church is a place for people who need help and people who want to help others.

Specifically, the church hopes the apartments will provide a home to addicts to help them not go back to their old lives. Stewart said rehab fails for most addicts because they have nowhere to go when they get out of rehab. To live in the apartments, recovering addicts will have to find jobs with the help of the church, and they will have to attend 12-step programs and life-skill classes.

Stewart said the church now has about 50 members, but about 100 usually attend services. Of that number, 30 to 40 percent are recovering from addictions.

The council’s vote rezoned the 10.3 acres where the church and duplexes are supposed to be built from R-1 to PUD (planned unit development).

Ron Craig, planning commission chairman, told the council that no one attended the planning commission earlier this month to voice any concern about the proposed project.

The commission will still have to approve a site plan, Craig said, but the rezoning the council approved prevents any other structures other than the church and duplexes from going up.

Craig said the commission asked for two additions to the plans the church submitted, a second driveway and a privacy fence between the railroad track and the apartments for the safety of children who may someday live there.

The Monday night council meeting was unusually short, lasting only about 15 minutes. The rezoning for the church was the only “new business” on the agenda.