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Ground Broken

Almost a year to the day of the re-launch of Bahamas Harvest Church’s (BHC) west campus in the RND Plaza, JFK Drive, to accommodate the burgeoning BHC membership senior pastor Mario Moxey and his congregation saw ground broken at the site for their new mega facility.

Bahamas Harvest Church (BHC) has taken their first official step towards construction of an edifice under which they will amalgamate their east and west campuses for one church body, with the turning of the soil at property located on Bethel Avenue in front of St. John’s College. Moxey is hoping construction begins before the end of the year, and can be completed in two years.

“That moment was three years in the making … from meeting with design teams and making changes – so that was an incredible moment, and a sense of accomplishment,” said Moxey.

The edifice on the 70,000 square foot property that will encompass multiple environments for the family will have age appropriate environments in each age group – nursery to preschool, grades one to six, grades seven to 12, and the adult church.

Moxey said the final building at any given time will be able to host 3,000 people.

“The plan is to bring everyone together under one roof. When we did our feasibility study … and part of that was when we split into two congregations, one of the things we didn’t factor in was relationships people had and that they would miss connecting with their friends.”

He said many of the congregants do their best to interact between campuses, so they’re not totally segregated, and that he knows of one family that alternates weeks worshipping between campuses, simply to retain those connections.

It was in early 2017, three years after a double growth in attendance from 500 to 1,000 at the BHC’s east campus on Prince Charles Drive, that Moxey said he knew something had to be done to accommodate the people. Their solution was to sublease movie theater space in the then Galleria Cinemas West to host services. It wasn’t long before they outgrew the three theater spaces subleased on Sunday mornings, which left Moxey in a quandary searching for another facility in the west that they could use.

In the summer of 2017 they were informed by their Galleria Cinemas landlords from whom they subleased space that they would be going out of business at that location at the end of June. Moxey realized the opportunity put before him to solve their dilemma in the immediacy. They acquired the entire 20,000 square foot rental space, which was 5,000-square feet more than their east campus.

BHC’s west campus in the RND Plaza, John F. Kennedy Drive opened in September 2017 after $300,000 in renovations in approximately three months. When they opened the doors for that first service, the renovation was still ongoing and wrapping up. It was as raw as could be. They did not even have carpeting installed. That wasn’t important to Moxey. The important thing for him was the people getting the message.

Renovations to the western campus gave them the opportunity to create an environment that Moxey describes as fun, exciting and comfortable for everyone wanting to come in and have lives changed.

“When they walk through the door, the one thing they’re going to feel is that they’ve arrived at home – a very homey space,” he said at the time.

The west campus has a café that serves coffee and various refreshments; there is a loft area where people can relax and enjoy their coffee, eat and fellowship. It also has a family life environment where they administer to the children from nursery age through 12th grade. The six children’s facilities include Cuddle Care for infants; a facility for toddlers who are learning to walk; the Mega Young Children’s facility for pre-school-aged children; a fourth facility known as Kids Electric for children in grades one through six; and two over environments, Crossover for children in grades seven through 12 which are broken down into junior and senior for seventh though night and 10th through 12th grade students.

“RND for us was kind of a snapshot of what we want this [Bethel Avenue] facility to be. It will be similar in look and feel,” said the pastor. And that it would be outfitted with equipment that will be customized for them. He said the majority of the square footage will be dedicated to the youth.

BHC opened its doors in November 1995. In 2007 Moxey said they witnessed an incredible growth process, and in 2009 doubled their attendance that meant he had to add services. Every time he added a service it would be filled. In 2010 they actually added four worship experiences on a Sunday morning. Problems arose when Moxey was unable to manage them all. The length of his messages meant services started to run into each other and he found that the last service on a Sunday was starting almost an hour behind schedule.

In an attempt to wrangle control, he terminated the fourth service on the Sunday and opted for a Saturday evening service. That too gained traction, but he found it to be taxing on the church’s staff and volunteers. He realized almost immediately that he had to terminate the Saturday service, and that’s when he got to thinking about a second campus in the west, and subleasing Galleria and eventually leasing the entire theater space happened. Even going into that he went in knowing that they wanted to lease the space for approximately three years while their mega facility was under construction, which when completed would allow the congregation to regroup under one roof.

Almost a year to the day of the relaunch of Bahamas Harvest Church’s west campus in the RND Plaza, John F. Kennedy Drive, to accommodate the burgeoning BHC membership, Moxey saw ground broken at the site for their new facility.

Shavaughn Moss

Lifestyles Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Shavaughn Mossjoined The Nassau Guardianas a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor.Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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