Fab Boutilier hands up a piece of drywall to Calib Barthel as the two work on the main entrance of the new Potters Hands Church. The new location is in the former Robco Cabinets Building northwest of the Superstore in Red Deer.

Fab Boutilier hands up a piece of drywall to Calib Barthel as the two work on the main entrance of the new Potters Hands Church. The new location is in the former Robco Cabinets Building northwest of the Superstore in Red Deer.

Ministry preparing larger space for congregation

Potter’s Hands Ministries is moving into a much-needed larger space for its growing congregation and is looking to raise $175,000 in donations to pay for renovations. The Christian fellowship, that currently holds its services rent-free at the low-income housing complex in the former Buffalo Hotel, is moving to the former Robco Cabinets Ltd. building at 5202 53rd Ave, northwest of Superstore.

Potter’s Hands Ministries is moving into a much-needed larger space for its growing congregation and is looking to raise $175,000 in donations to pay for renovations.

The Christian fellowship, that currently holds its services rent-free at the low-income housing complex in the former Buffalo Hotel, is moving to the former Robco Cabinets Ltd. building at 5202 53rd Ave, northwest of Superstore.

“The place where we now congregate holds about 200 people and we’re full.

“The new place will hold about 400 so we’re doubling our meeting capacity,” said Len Nederlof, chair of the new building fundraising committee, on Wednesday.

Nederlof said the building was donated in January by two anonymous people.

When the project was before the city’s municipal planning commission earlier this year, Potter’s Hand Ministries pastor Stan Schalk was said to be one of the owners.

The commission decided to allow the building to be used for worship on Sunday mornings for a three-year period.

The project does not reflect the long-term vision and intent of the Greater Downtown Action Plan and operation of the church beyond three years requires a new application and approval by the commission.

So far $35,000 has been raised within the congregation and renovations have begun.

Potter’s Hands plans to move into its new home in July.

Nederlof said Potter’s Hands focuses on helping people who live on the street “that society has forgotten or trying to forget.”

He said the need is growing.

Potter’s Hands started as a home bible study group with about 15 people 12 years ago which resulted in the development of Potter’s Hands Kitchen to feed those in need.

Next door to the soup kitchen, The Art Centre was developed that allows people earn money through the sale of their art.

Solid Ground Cafe opened recently, at 5017 49th St., to teach people work ethics and life skills.

szielinski@www.reddeeradvocate.com