Associate Pastor David Isaac Rivers and Senior Pastor Hans Bailey stand outside the new space for Calvary Chapel Sequim in downtown. Bailey said they wanted to move to be closer to the people. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Associate Pastor David Isaac Rivers and Senior Pastor Hans Bailey stand outside the new space for Calvary Chapel Sequim in downtown. Bailey said they wanted to move to be closer to the people. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Calvary Chapel moves to downtown Sequim for discipleship

Church leaders consider child and music ministry opportunities

A need to be with the people led Calvary Chapel Sequim to come downtown.

After more than a decade on Boyce Road off US Highway 101 in Carlsborg, church leaders uprooted this fall and moved to the former Doodlebugs building at 132 1/2 W. Washington St.

Senior Pastor Hans Bailey said they loved their former space that sold in the summer, but they felt a calling to come closer to the community.

“In the gospel you see Jesus at times in the wilderness and people were coming to him, and at times he’s going into communities,” he said.

“I think there are times Jesus wants to be in a place where people are coming to him and times he goes into communities. I just believe that Jesus was saying, there’s coming a time I want you to be in town.”

The church’s new, old space features the former scrapbooking storefront and the upstairs historic dance hall.

David Isaac Rivers, the church’s associate pastor and worship director, said the hall has been widely used since the 1980s and maintains its “incredible acoustics.”

“Hearing everyone (sing) is amazing,” he said.

Beginning again

Bailey said discussions for a possible move started more than two years ago, but he’s been thinking about a change for several years in order to be “a part of the community rather than on the margins of the community.”

The Boyce Road building went on the market about a year ago, he said, and once they had an offer, church leaders agreed to make an offer of their own.

The final service was Oct. 27 in the old space, and the first was held in the new space Nov. 3.

Church leaders said there’s still a lot of work to do, but they can manage with its current condition.

“What Jesus does is remake us from the inside out,” Bailey said.

“We like to do that with the buildings. It’s a physical expression of what Jesus is already doing for us. He guts us and rebuilds us into something much more glorious.”

For the community

With a unique space featuring a storefront and dance hall, church leaders have some ideas for what could happen in the church but aren’t setting anything in stone.

“We want it to be something Sequim is excited about,” Bailey said.

“We want to rebuild this so that it’s an asset to the community. We have a lot of ideas, but we’re open to however the Lord is going to move it. We don’t have an agenda.”

One idea is to turn a space into a children’s ministry that also doubles a daycare and/or preschool during the week to help parents in a convenient location.

Another idea is to create an eatery of some kind.

Rivers sees the dance hall not only as a place of worship but as a performance arts space.

“I’d like to help music flourish here and make space available to the community,” he said. “It’s a huge part of our mission to be innovative in the arts.”

Bailey said he doesn’t like the idea of a church only being used a few times a week.

“We have these large buildings we’re heating and only using for two, maybe three times a week, when it’s this large asset,” he said.

In the few weeks since moving, church leaders said they’ve seen an immediate increase in their interaction by being downtown with business owners, community members and church-goers just dropping in.

Theology

Church leaders said they’ve transitioned to focus more on discipleship as a church in the last two years.

“We realized relationships in our church didn’t go deep enough to have an effect on each other,” Bailey said.

“We just didn’t interact the way that Jesus called the church to interact. We realize we’re just a collective of people who like the same worship music, and as long as I was entertaining, and we were all trying to be good Christians, that was what a church was.

But that’s not really what the Lord wants us of the church.”

To better follow Jesus, Bailey said they “only use programs that bring us into deeper relationships.”

He said, “All other churches have these. We had those programs, but what we realized, some programs allow you stay on a superficial level.”

Bailey said people will be more enriched when they hear each other’s understanding of Jesus’ teachings even if viewpoints clash.

“We worship a God who wants to intimately know us,” Rivers said. “Love your brother as yourself. We’ve been grappling in discipleship with honesty, and it’s changed our culture more, grappling with being more vulnerable.”

Rivers said their mentality is not to grow the church physically bigger but to “grow in Christ and generally know each other.”

“That’s why we’re here is to know Sequim, and I believe Jesus wants to know Sequim,” he said.

Bailey said they are open to what Jesus wants in Sequim.

“That’s literally why we exist to show the world what Jesus is like,” he said. “I have no hidden agenda other than that.”

More about Calvary Chapel

• Calvary Chapel Sequim’s music features hymns and original songs in what Rivers describes as an alternative Celtic folk style.

• Church leaders are investigating the cost for installing an elevator to the second floor. For those unable to climb the stairs, comfortable couches with a video monitor are set up downstairs. Look for full services online too, at Facebook.com/CalvaryChapelSequim.

The historic dance hall in downtown Sequim now hosts Calvary Chapel Sequim’s services led by Associate Pastor David Isaac Rivers and Senior Pastor Hans Bailey. Rivers said their mentality is not to necessarily grow the church physically bigger but to “grow in Christ and generally know each other.” “That’s why we’re here is to know Sequim, and I believe Jesus wants to know Sequim,” he said. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

The historic dance hall in downtown Sequim now hosts Calvary Chapel Sequim’s services led by Associate Pastor David Isaac Rivers and Senior Pastor Hans Bailey. Rivers said their mentality is not to necessarily grow the church physically bigger but to “grow in Christ and generally know each other.” “That’s why we’re here is to know Sequim, and I believe Jesus wants to know Sequim,” he said. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Acoustics inside the former dance hall in downtown Sequim sound amazing, says Associate Pastor/Worship Director David Isaac Rivers for Calvary Chapel Sequim. He and Senior Pastor Hans Bailey lead services at 10 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays at 132 1/2 W. Washington St. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Acoustics inside the former dance hall in downtown Sequim sound amazing, says Associate Pastor/Worship Director David Isaac Rivers for Calvary Chapel Sequim. He and Senior Pastor Hans Bailey lead services at 10 a.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays at 132 1/2 W. Washington St. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

More in News

Extension of tax exemption for private airplane work approved by Senate

Proponents say the bill incentivizes work opportunity that would not occur otherwise.

Parents and teachers express concerns over mandatory sex ed

By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Parents, students and educational professionals voiced… Continue reading

$1 million bail set in murder case

Deputies: Woman beaten to death with tequila bottle

Narrow Senate vote approves collection of gun violence data

By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service The Washington Legislature is closer to… Continue reading

Lawmakers move to lower cost of insulin in state

By Leona Vaughn WNPA News Service Bringing down the cost of insulin… Continue reading

Renton man arrested for connection to Blyn-area homicide

Authorities arrested a Renton man in connection with the murder of a… Continue reading

Lawmakers flinch on proposed ban of for-profit detention facilities

By Cameron Sheppard WNPA News Service Washington state lawmakers elected to prohibit… Continue reading

Jennifer States addresses Sequim City Councilors at a question-and-answer session for potential candidates for the vacant seventh council seat in January 2018 (States was selected from five candidates). States announced her intention to resign from the council on Feb. 18. Sequim Gazette file photo by Matthew Nash
Sequim City councilor States to resign

Sequim City Council member Jennifer States notified the City on Feb. 18… Continue reading

Clallam County seeks grant for reservoir

Commissioners OK pre-applications for water supply project off River Road

Most Read