A 4-year-old, 2000 member church, Harvest Church, in Billings, Montana a $4 million pool.
The community has tried to pass 3 bond measures and were unable to get the pool built with out any luck, so the church is ponying up the money to (as Pastor Vern Streeter says in the Billings Gazette) to "help achieve harvest's goal of making it relevant to people's lives."
Some interesting observations from the Gazette article:
- The churches plan to build the pool has delayed its plan to build a new sanctuary.
- Swimmers will pay a gate fee comparable to those at other Billings pools, and the church will staff and maintain the facility.
- The church scrapped plans for an indoor pool after research indicated it would lose money. Harvest hopes to break even with an outdoor facility.
- "It's very important people understand this is a Yellowstone County pool. This is a Montana pool," Streeter said. "It's not a church pool. You don't have to be baptized in it before you can swim in it."
- Harvest is sending a church representative to Washington, D.C., to research obtaining federal grant money, and Streeter is planning a follow-up trip in early 2005.