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Turlock’s Calvary Chapel undergoes major downtown expansion project
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Pastor Rob Monroe and music minister Kenn Mann stand in the newly-renovated Calvary Chapel sanctuary on S. Broadway (CHRISTOPHER CORREA/The Journal).

The process of turning a former downtown nightlife spot and restaurant venue into a house of worship is moving along for Calvary Chapel Turlock.

The local church is constructing a brand-new sanctuary, meeting rooms, and play areas for children to accommodate for their growing number of weekly service attendees at their 147 S Broadway Ave. location, the former site of On Broadway with Two Guys and Red Brick Bar & Grill.

Pastor Rob Monroe acquired the space in 2016, sharing one side with former restaurant and catering business On Broadway with Two Guys. After the neighboring business’ lease ran out in 2016, Monroe and his team have been working on combining the room within the address.

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Calvary Chapel moved into the former downtown nightlife and restaurant venue in 2016.

Monroe explained that expansion was necessary considering they were recently having to turn people away due to State Fire Marshall codes.

“The new sanctuary is going to give us a lot more room for everyone to meet together,” Monroe said. “Our current sanctuary gets filled up pretty quickly and then the rest of the people have to come over to this other side and watch on the TV, so we're kind of divided on a Sunday morning, but we all want to be together in the same place. That’s the main goal, everybody be together.”

Monroe was originally a member of Calvary Chapel Modesto’s leadership team while spending most of his time as an aircraft pilot. While being a member of the Modesto church, he was also being trained in the ministry. When Turlock’s Calvary Chapel was in need of a pastor in 2008, Monroe officially made the transition.

Originally located on North Orange Street, Monroe explained that the church would typically see only around 25 people attend services. Over the years, that number has risen to over 400. He believes that the church’s simplified approach to teaching the Bible has appealed to much of the Turlock community.

“We keep it really simple here. We're not really formal like other religious groups. You know there's people that have liturgies and those kinds of things, but we're just pretty casual,” Monroe explained. “We just teach the Bible and go through the Bible verse by verse, line by line and that has seemed to resonate with people.”

The public has also been drawn in by the work of minister Kenn Mann. Mann has been recognized for his songwriting and musical performances over the years, including the winning of a Dove award, which is the equivalent to a Grammy in the Christian music industry. He leads worship services at Calvary Chapel Turlock and expressed his appreciation towards the increase of interest and participation at the church.

“We’re thankful, very thankful that that this many people are coming out and just to worship and hear the word,” Mann said. “We’re at the point where we have to turn people away, and we hate to turn people away from the Gospel of Jesus. We’re hoping and praying that things will be done for us to move in by Easter.”

Expansion is not limited to just the inside of the building, though. The church, which has a large patio space, is currently in the midst of constructing a play area for children. Monroe feels as if a playground and outdoor area could greatly accommodate the church’s Sunday School program for infants through 5th graders.

To get involved with the church and their programs, Monroe encourages the public to take just one easy step.

“The first step is just to show up, enjoy this service and worship with us and let us get to know you,” he said.

Services take place every Sunday morning at 8:30 and 10:30. More information on Calvary Chapel Turlock can be found at