Vineyard Church Seeks To Partner With Community

The Vineyard Church of Sullivan in Illinois has begun to dream of ways they can serve and strengthen their community with the recent purchase of a former Shopko building.

Vineyard USA

Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.

Original Publication: Moultrie County News • Progress 

The Vineyard Church of Sullivan in Illinois expanded with the purchase of the 35,000 sq. ft Shopko building last week.

Now they have room to dream. “We are unique in our mission,” Pastor Jim Plank began.

“We as a congregation would like to give back to the community, and this is a big step toward that.” (Plank)

Plank explained that the church built on 24 acres south of Sullivan in 2009 was limited in space, and the 35,000 square foot Shopko building offers grand possibilities. “We are seeking information from various groups in the community to help us determine the greatest needs and how we can best use this space to help,” Plank said, noting that the 15-member Campus Leadership Team will be discussing options over the next few weeks.

The Vineyard Church just completed their eighth annual Back to School Blast where some 109 pairs of shoes were given away along with free hair cuts and other support for children preparing to return to school. Expanding the program to help students is part of the attraction of the new space. With the success of the Back to School Blast, the church has identified the possible need for an afterschool hang out for students.

“We have no interest in developing a school,” Plank emphasized, noting that many members of the congregation were already involved in Arthur Christian School. “By getting input from various groups, our hope is to prevent duplicating efforts and concentrate on helping those who need a hand up,” he continued, noting many groups in the Sullivan area are already providing a variety of assistance. Plank and his family have been in Sullivan for 28 years and remember businesses located around the square. By opening up to businesses, community groups and individuals, The Vineyard Church hopes to find a direction for the new space that can help the overall growth of the community.

“We love Sullivan and want to help where we can best help,” he said. “If we can somehow use this space to help incubate small businesses to locate in town, we can help the community as a whole, the possibilities are as endless as dreams, from homework help and mentoring programs to providing banquet facilities and physical activities. The reality is to implement such a vision with community involvement and money.”

There are families in the community who are struggling and part of the overall mission of The Vineyard Churches of Central Illinois is committed to strengthening families. A facility that triples the size of the church can be a tremendous asset to a community fostering family strength.

“We are asking our congregation to dream big and extend ourselves to the community because if the community is strong, everyone in it is stronger.” (Plank)

The building was purchased as part of an online auction of 11 different Shopko buildings across the nation with The Vineyard winning the bid at $237,000 including auction fees. The Shopko property was valued at $1.5 million on the Moultrie County tax roles.


Original Publication: Moultrie County News • Progress 

The Vineyard Church Of Sullivan Website: