After uncertainty of its new home, City Church of Conway has found a temporary place for its services.
"We will do a trial run through the month of June at the [Ola and John Hawks Senior Wellness and Activity Center at 705 E. Siebenmorgen Road in Conway], and then re-evaluate where we are with the people at [the Ola and John Hawks Center]," City Church pastor Joey Cook said. "So far, the folks there have been incredible."
Prior to the new meeting place, City Church had entered a sublease agreement with the Boys & Girls Club of Faulkner County in April 2014 to use its facility for Saturday night and Sunday mornings for a weekly fee of $250.
However, the Boys & Girls Club never notified the city of Conway, which violated the lease agreement it signed with the city in 2012.
The lease agreement states in part: "This agreement cannot be assigned nor can the leased premises be sublet without first obtaining the written consent of the LESSOR. In the event this agreement is assigned, or the premises are sublet without the prior or written consent of the LESSOR, the LESSOR can at its option declare this agreement null and void and immediately retake possession of the property as set forth above."
A letter dated May 25 from Mayor Tab Townsell to Boys & Girls Club of Faulkner County Executive Director Clint Brock says City Church’s use of the building’s parking lot has caused trouble for weekend baseball tournaments, which is the primary purpose of the park.
The church has grown to about 500 attendees in its two years of existence, crowding the parking lot.
"The City will notify the Boys & Girls Club to cease this unapproved activity and ask it to immediately annul the sublease," Townsell told the Conway City Council in an April 25 email the Log Cabin Democrat obtained through the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.
According to reports, City Church was given a week to find a new venue for its services.
"Our community has been really receptive and has looked out for us in finding a new home for our church," Cook said. "Seven different churches offered its buildings for our services."
The last thing City Church wants to do is fight the city because City Church exists for the good of the city, Cook said adamantly, but it is thankful for the partnership the Boys & Girls Club has had with the church.
"We wish the best for the Boys & Girls Club," he said. "They have been great to us, and we love what they do for the city."
Like Cook, Brock said he wants to keep the relationship with the city strong for the sake of kids, but told the Log Cabin on Thursday there are still details being worked out with the Boys & Girls Club and the city.
City Church will have two services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday mornings at the Ola and John Hawks Center through June.
(Staff writer Andy Robertson can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1246. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)