Ocean City Today

SonRise Church moves into new facility in Berlin

By Josh Davis | Apr 06, 2017
Source: SUBMITTED PHOTO Members of the SonRise Church congregation, town and local officials and members of a local Girl Scout troupe cut the ribbon on the new SonRise facility on the north end of Berlin Main Street, on March 3.

(April 7, 2017) SonRise Church has begun operations at its new home on the north end of Berlin’s Main Street, bordering Route 50.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony there on March 3 came almost exactly a year after the Berlin Town Council voted unanimously to rezone the 22-acre property from M-1 light industrial to B-2 shopping district.

The council also ratified a zoning code amendment that allows churches to be built in B-2 districts. Merial Select previously owned the property.

Pastor Daryl McCready said the ribbon-cutting was well attended and went off smoothly. He said renovations to two of the existing buildings were almost finished, and that one already houses SonRise offices and will have a small meeting space. Another will include a thrift store, faith-based counseling services, a mobile food ministry and a “backpack ministry” for schools.

“That will be completed within a week or two – we hope,” he said.

The next step is the demolition of the site’s largest building, which faces Route 50.

“We’re, hopefully, getting some grants for economic development to demolish those buildings and to subdivide,” McCready said. “We’re hoping to sell that to a hotel and two restaurants.”

The church plans to use the proceeds to pay for construction of a new worship building and a small sports complex, although McCready said that was likely several years away.

For now, the church hosts its services at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin, as well as at Bennett High School in Salisbury and Washington High School in Princess Anne.

SonRise is no stranger to working with area schools and has ties to Berlin Intermediate School and Buckingham Elementary School, where it hosts regular food drives for underprivileged students.

“We have a strong partnership with the school system. That’s one of the places we really want to have an impact and be a service,” McCready said. “We do a lot of events for schools like field days and PTA fundraisers.”

The church regularly provides inflatables at no cost during town events, and will donate screens and other equipment for the “Movies in the Park” series run by the Berlin Arts & Entertainment Committee and Berlin Parks Commission, this summer.

“And, of course, we’re always doing different outreaches in the community, just to bless the community and help them as best we can,” McCready said. “We believe that the church represents God and, as such, God loves people. We believe He’s called the church to be his literal hands and feet to the world, so we believe we’re called to be servants to our community – to love them and to serve them and to live generously with them in God’s name, to give testimony to His goodness.

“We believe the church should be such a presence in the community that should the door ever close that the community would mourn the loss of the church,” he continued. “That’s how we want to live our lives as a church – to really be seen as a resource and a blessing to this community.”

Sunday services at Stephen Decatur High School are at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. McCready said all were welcome to attend.

“They’re also welcome to just come by the property,” he said. “If they want to come by and see what’s going on and see our new office complex, it’s beautiful. It turned out really nice. They can stop in any time and we’ll give them a tour.”

For more information, call 410-629-1901 or visit www.sonrise.cc.

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