The Spokane Slavic Baptist Church is moving to Five Mile Prairie.
Dozens of volunteers hammer, measure and pour cement, laying the foundation for the 16,000-square-foot church, expected to be finished by summer.
Pastor Alexander Sipko spends much of his day at the building site on North Nettleton Lane, just off Strong Road.
He eagerly unfolds plans for the two-story stucco church, pointing to the wide front steps, tall windows and large space for the choir behind the altar.
The 450-member congregation has outgrown its building on North Cannon Street. The 5.6 acres on the prairie offers plenty of elbow room for the 250 Bible-school children and an 84-car parking lot.
“It’s beautiful up here,” said Sipko, gazing across the fields that surround the church. “It’s a good location.”
Spokane Slavic Baptist Church holds four services each week: two Sunday, one Thursday, one Saturday. Services are well attended, sometimes luring 400 worshipers, said Sipko.
The four choirs, with 80 members, practice daily.
Neighbors are concerned about increased traffic the growing church will add to the prairie.
“We welcome churches on Five Mile Prairie,” said Rich Fink, president of the Five Mile Neighborhood Council. “But we do want to make sure it’s done right, that the impacts on the prairie are evaluated.”
Strong Road, which leads to the church, is a narrow, two lane road with no curbs, sidewalks or turn lanes.
There are two other churches on the prairie - Spokane Bible Church and Five Mile Community Church.
Most of the Slavic Baptist church members come from the Ukraine or Russia. Sipko said there are three different Russian Churches in Spokane.
The completed church will include a sanctuary, mezzanine, kitchen, day care and classrooms. The value is estimated at $870,000.
Sipko said the church is being built by donations from congregation members.
The church is in the county and will have city water and on-site septic.
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