Mountain Lake Church Dawson Pastor Brian Haas wants to make one thing clear: it's not about where worship happens, but that it happens.
“The church is never about a building,” Haas said. “We don’t and won’t worship the walls and it’s not about the name on the side of the building that matters but only the name of Jesus.”
He says this as his congregation is making the move from an unorthodox location, the local movie theater, to a slightly more permanent warehouse.
Mountain Lake Church in Dawson County sprung from a campus in Forsyth County in September of 2014. The church, which has a weekly attendance of around 300, has met every Sunday at the Regal Dawson 400 Cinemas.
“Molly and that team over there, they are wonderful to work with,” Haas said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better place to be the past three years.”
Haas said his congregation probably won’t miss having to set up and take down all of the church’s equipment every Sunday, but they probably will miss the comfort of the movie theater chairs.
Hauling in equipment for the sound system and bands each Sunday takes a lot of time and volunteers, Haas said. Set up begins at 6:15 a.m. for services that don’t start until 9:30. Tear down takes an hour.
As the only paid staff, Haas said it came down to the congregation to make the church function.
“It takes an army to do that,” Haas said. “It’s incredible what they do every Sunday.”
But nearly three weeks ago the church signed a lease for a vacant warehouse off Ga. 400 and Carlisle Road, and recently started to move into the space.
Haas said they didn’t make the move just to not have to set up and tear down each week.
“One of the things we say is we’re a church for our community, but it’s hard to be for your community if you still seem temporary and portable,” Haas said. “We want the community to know this church isn’t going anywhere.”
Saturday, over 70 volunteers from the church gathered at the new location for demo day.
Dust flew in the air as the congregation worked to tear down walls, moved furniture, mowed the grass and pruned the landscape.
Haas said the church is hoping to hold its first Sunday service at the 31 Successful Way location sometime in November.
“The building is great, but it's just another way to be for our community,” Haas said. “This is just a space for more life change, that’s it.”