–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
PUBLICATION DATE: Mar 17, 2020
Anchor Church has recently moved its services to the former Advent Lutheran Church building at the corner of Sylvania Avenue and McCord Road. Pastor Brent Blake reflects on the move and the growth of the new church.
How did this move come about?
Moving to the Advent building actually happened by accident. We had been meeting in Southview High School and recently started doing once-a-month services at Charter Senior Living right next door. We were in the process of looking for a space for our Christmas Eve service in Nov. 2019, and one day we finished our service and I noticed someone coming out of the building. I was under the impression the building was empty at this point. I hunted down the phone number and asked about doing our service there. I found out that part of the building is actually used Monday through Friday between 8 am to 3 pm for adult daycare by Lutheran Home of Mercy, who purchased the property after the church closed in 2015. While the lot in front of the building is for sale the building is not.
We were welcomed with open arms for our Christmas Eve service, which went great! While we were checking out the space our worship pastor, John Kreuz IV, started playing the piano when an older lady came in with a huge smile on her face. She had been a part of Advent Lutheran Church since it was built and was the church secretary and now works for Lutheran Home of Mercy. She was ecstatic that we were there and said, “It has been so long since I heard any music coming out of this room!” She and everyone associated with the organization truly loved us being there for Christmas, as did we. After Christmas we asked about making it our permanent home. We were offered the sanctuary, which was not in use since the church closed, and we are able to share the rest of the space.
What are the advantages of the new space?
We are permanently set up in the sanctuary and we share the rest of the building for our kids space. We are able to use the whole building on Sunday. We now have a place to store our equipment and trailer. We don’t have to set up before each service and take down right after.
We are also able to partner with the Lutheran Home of Mercy ministry and have been able to help stock the hygiene pantry they maintain.
Since moving to our new church home, there has been significant growth and a morale boost for the Anchor Church family. We have met neighbors and strangers who all have a connection to that building. We are bringing life back to that space and it is great! We have filled up our parking lot on the weekends so much so that the bank across the street has allowed us to use their parking lot on Sunday.
How has the move made an impact on your mission?
Our mission to reach families, offer a place where everyone can belong, and be a great part of Sylvania, has not changed. However, this move has advanced our mission and allows us to do more. We are in a prominent location and everyone in the area seems to know where that church is located. We were able to host a ‘Frozen 2 ’ movie night for families, hold regular Tree City Worship nights for the community, and have space for group meetings, which we were unable to do when we were using Southview. The new building gives us a permanent presence and we get to partner with a great ministry.
The Anchor Team
In addition to Pastor Blake, the Anchor Church team includes his wife, Lauren, who leads the Anchor kids program, and John Kreuz IV, who serves as the worship pastor. They believe they offer a unique worship experience to the Sylvania community. “Anchor is unique in meeting the needs of families and children,” Blake noted. “ I’m only 35-years-old and I love seeing young people bring their creative, artistic value to worship. We want people to find their creative passion, whatever that may be.”
Pastor Blake, his wife and two young children relocated to Sylvania three years ago from Youngstown. “I was a youth pastor for about 13 years. We moved to start Anchor,” Blake noted. “A group of pastors approached us some time ago. My wife and I are both Ohio natives and we decided it was the right move for us and our two young children. We literally found Sylvania by locating a point on a map. We sold our house and lived in a basement for two months. We wanted to be in a place where kids are a priority. Our church values children and strives to meet the needs of the next generation. We have fallen in love with Sylvania. We are excited for the future.”