OGDEN -- A small church here has made a big purchase, and members are thrilled.
The two-year-old, nondenominational Harbor Christian Church has just purchased The Grand Estate reception center, 800 N. Washington Blvd.
It's the first permanent home for the church that has 30 members on any given Sunday.
Members are excited to welcome the community to its first services this Sunday.
Bible school is set for 10 a.m. Sunday, and worship services will be held at 11 a.m.
The church also offers Bible study at 6 p.m. each Thursday, and prayer meetings at 10 a.m. Wednesdays.
"This is a big deal for them," said member Stew MacInnes, about the members of his church.
"The congregation is not huge," MacInnes said. "A lot are older and are on fixed incomes. They have worked and saved diligently."
Members were pleased that the former owner of the reception center has helped them out by leaving furniture and other amenities to help them enjoy their 100-year-old facility.
Members are helping the former owner, too, by allowing her to hold the remaining wedding receptions she has booked at the facility.
"We now have an 'old' pastor and old building with a new lease," MacInnes said.
Pastor Dennis Whisler came out of retirement to lead the congregation when it organized two years ago.
And until now, that organization has included setting up and taking down what members needed for their services every week as they've been in temporary locations.
"You talk about miracles and you talk about faith and when it happens, you say, 'We weren't quite expecting it at this time,' " Whisler said of the congregation finding their building and being able to afford it.
He said the new location will be a real plus for the church.
"It's a main thoroughfare, and we'll have signage," Whisler said, noting that the church also has a lot of room for growth.
"When you have your own place, it says, 'Hey, we are permanent now,' " he said. "It does a lot for your people. It tells the community, 'We're here and we're staying.' "
He related the excitement of the experience to being a young person who gets his or her first house -- there is just a different feeling from when he or she was renting.
Whisler said he wants people to know that his church is open to "any and all."
"We are Christian, followers of Christ," Whisler said. "We preach Him and follow the Bible."