The Ridge Community Church will soon have a permanent home

GREENFIELD (WITI) -- The Ridge Community Church has been around since 2006, but has never really been in a church. It first started at the Marcus Ridge Theaters in New Berlin. It has since moved to Whitnall High School in Greenfield. Now, after more than six years, The Ridge is about to have a permanent home.

The former home of a Wal-Mart store on Highway 100 will soon become a house of worship. For now, members of The Ridge Community Church congregate in the auditorium of Whitnall High School.

"We're not a traditional church. We're a church for people who don't wanna go to church, who are struggling through life and are looking for a place and purpose," Lead Pastor Mark Weigt said.

Weigt says he appreciates the school's hospitality, but says: "It also has limitations. We can't do certain things we want to do community-wise because we don't have a permanent location, so the permanent location will help us with that."

The church bought a building up the road that housed the old big box store. Though the Wal-Mart has moved, it didn't go too far. With a Wal-Mart and McDonald's next door to the new church site, Weigt says one of the biggest challenges of moving into the new digs will be traffic.

"People's first impression is in the parking lot and as we've studied the traffic flow of that, we've looked at people going to Wal-Mart from Highway 100. There's just a lot of confusion of going straight in, branching off," Weigt said.

In Sunday's sermon on March 10th, Weigt donned a parking vest and asked members to volunteer with the new church -- helping with parking, in addition to other new responsibilities.

"A lot of things are done for us here at the school: the security, cleaning of the building, all the maintenance things that go into it and are non-related to the actual experience of the church," Weigt said.

Church leaders say they are rushing to finish the remodeling of the building so they can have the first service there in three weeks, on Easter Sunday.

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