Church relocates to downtown

After two years of ministry at the Regal Cinema movie theater in Riverside Plaza, Relevant Church celebrated their move to the Fox Performing Arts Center in downtown Riverside on March 29.

Jonathan Bilima, lead pastor of Relevant Church, said the move was nothing strange for his congregation because they have been a mobile church since the beginning five years ago, when they initially met in a coffee shop.

“We were doing three services (at the Regal Cinema) just because of the growth that has taken place and really (did not have) enough time to do all the services within that short period of time that we have allotted,” Bilima said. “So it was time for us to move to find a different place. One of our goals has been to invest in really building people before we build buildings.”

Bilima said he is excited to bring his nearly 1,000 weekly church attendees to the Fox Performing Arts Center.

“Approximately 85 percent of the people who attend our church are people who previously don’t have a church attendance background,” Bilima said. “That’s been our mission to reach those that are far away from God and bring them to a place where they can experience God and be transformed by his gospel.”

Rachel McDonald, junior Christian studies major at California Baptist University, has been going to Relevant church for three years and said she was thrilled when she found out about the move.

“There was so much excitement the first Sunday we were there,” McDonald said. “Worship was crazy and people were just praising the Lord, and I mean really jumping for joy.”

As a volunteer for the children’s ministry at the church, McDonald said the move to the Fox Performing Arts Center has given volunteers new opportunities for service.

“We have a bigger space in the nursery and acquired portable rocking chairs,” McDonald said. “The move has also put us in a place where hopefully we can serve new families in this community. We serve to share the love of Jesus, and this move has given us a new family to share Jesus with.”

Matthew Perry, junior applied theology major and intern at Relevant Church, said he loves that the church is full of imperfect people who lean on God together. Perry leads a bible study group at CBU and encourages students to attend the group Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in Village Room 402.

He explained that he is happy to see CBU students serving at the church on a weekly basis.

“I see regularly about 10-15 CBU students serving, from helping out in the kids ministry to being greeters at the door,” Perry said. “I also think some students get a little intimidated. They don’t want to make a commitment that they can’t follow through with. My goal is to try and meet up with as many as I can and try to encourage them, even if it’s just one time a month.”

Relevant Church Services are held at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sundays. For more information, visit www.relevant316.com.

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