The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Alisa Boswell-Gore

Faith Christian expanding to Portales


Last updated 10/3/2020 at 2:56pm

Courtesy photo

Pastor Hadley Howe is 'super excited' about Faith Christian opening a campus in Portales.

Faith Christian Family Church in Clovis isn't exactly a traditional church with its auditoriums, two daycares, and gourmet coffee shop.

Moving into 2021 will mean bringing that non-traditional church atmosphere to Portales.

"Sometimes people get really caught up with the church as a building," said Hadley Howe, who is set to be the pastor of the Faith Christian Family Church Portales campus. "At the end of the day, we ask ourselves, what can we do for people? This is just how we do that, and we are just going to bring that heart and service for loving people to Portales."

The large building, standing on what was previously an empty field on 18th Street in Portales, has been under construction throughout 2020, but construction is winding down, with Howe saying FCFC officials anticipate construction being completed in January and the church opening its doors to the public in March.

Howe said Pastor David Swann, who started the church in Clovis 40 years ago, has a mentality of "I want to be known for what I give and not what I get," and that mentality has carried into the church staff and members. They often work with other community entities to serve Clovis with things like oil changes for senior citizens and coat and school supply drives.

The idea to bring Faith Christian to Portales started three or four years ago, said Howe, when Swann felt God "put it on his heart" to pursue a second campus.

Howe said two reasons the congregation wants to bring a campus to Portales are for the 250 or so members who live there, and to serve Eastern New Mexico University students.

Portales' Josh Prock said his family just joined the Faith Christian church a few weeks ago.

"It's important to us to go to church here in our local community, but we started visiting Faith Christian, and we just felt like God was calling us to go there," Prock said. "I think it is going to be an exciting and wonderful thing for Portales. I believe the campus over here is something that is really going to reach the city and the university. It's going to be exciting when it opens up."

Prock, who is also the ENMU women's basketball coach, said he believes the church will be a home away from home of sorts for university students.

"I think the impact will be tremendous. It's going to be a place where students are reached. It's going to be a place where they can hear the word of God and where they can be witnessed to and loved on a little bit. I think they (FCFC) are doing a lot of the right things, and it's going to be interesting to see how God uses this branch over here."

Howe said church leaders hope the new facility will appeal to people who do not currently attend church.

"Statistics say that there are at least 10,000 people in any community not going to any church anywhere," he said. "So, the goal is not to go get people going to other churches and say, 'Go to our church.' We want to encourage the people who aren't going to church anywhere to come."

Howe said like the church in Clovis, the Portales campus will include a daycare, called Kidzo, and a coffee shop, which will initially only be open during church services but will eventually be open full-time to the public with extended hours for university students.

The church will also include an outdoor, open corridor between its buildings where outdoor services can be held.

"We are truly believing that this is going to be paid for somehow," said Howe, saying that much of the building's funding so far has been donations from Portales citizens and businesses, and the rest was borrowed from US Bank. "It's up to us, but we are believing that God will provide. We work like it's up to us and pray like it's up to God."

And things have seemed to fall into place in a God-ordained way, according to Howe, who said the state inspector for daycares helped design the Portales church's daycare.

He also said the way the congregation obtained the piece of land in Portales was God-ordained.

When the church went to inquire about the land, it had already been purchased four days previously. But in a twist of fate, the land's new owner no longer had plans for the land. And due to a situation 16 years prior in which David Swann had helped him, he agreed to sell it to the church for the exact price he had purchased it.

"It seems so cliché to say, 'Do to others as you would have them do unto you,' but at the end of the day, be good to people," said Howe. "At the end of the day, there is no way we could have known this was going to be a factor in this. It's just reassurance that this is good, and it's worth the fight. It's confirmation that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing."

Howe said now FCFC officials are having to "hustle to make sure our ducks are in a row," because things are winding down on the construction.

"We are super excited, because it's within our reach, but at the same time, you get nervous because we have to be on it. But I think we're ready."


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