EVERETT — Last year, when the Rev. Ben Breeden told his congregation at Refuge Foursquare Church that they needed to “gather, grow and go,” he thought he meant it figuratively.
It was supposed to be the theme of his fall lecture series.
On Sept. 12 — Breeden’s birthday — church leaders found out they had to leave their rented space on Wetmore Avenue. The property owner was in trouble with the city over the condition of the building, public records show.
Refuge Foursquare became a “mobile church” in a matter of days, Breeden said. There weren’t a lot of options on such short notice. Since October, the church has been hosting Sunday services in the Weyerhaeuser Room at Everett Station, the transit hub on Smith Avenue.
Breeden expected some turbulence as families adjusted. Instead, people chipped in to make it work, including the staff from Everett Station, he said.
Everyone liked it so much, they plan to stay for a while.
“It’s a beautiful room,” he said. “We’ve got the best view of any church. We look out at the Cascades every week.”
Each Sunday, church leaders and volunteers set up and tear down the sound system and the space for the children’s ministry. The Rev. Natalie Rodriquez, the children’s pastor, transforms conference rooms into a nursery, playroom and Sunday school.
She and others have taken heart in the fact that folks haven’t dropped off during the transition, she said. It seems as if every time a need springs up, someone finds a solution, she said. And unless it’s a football Sunday, parking is generous.
Services draw up to 70 adults, and Refuge Foursquare just expanded its children’s ministry. It is aiming to provide opportunities for age-appropriate learning and play throughout the Sunday service, Breeden said.
After worship, the kids sometimes run to the windows to watch the trains, he said. And travelers are known to stop by to catch what they can of a sermon. It’s a different feel, to be in a place of comings and goings.
“We’re in the heart of our city,” he said. “That’s the soundtrack of our life.”
Refuge Foursquare was planted from Everett’s New Life Church off Madison Street about seven years ago. It had been on Wetmore most of that time.
Christian teachings tell people that in their “journey of faith,” they have to take steps out of their comfort zone, Breeden said.
“And, boy, have we had to do that for real,” he said.
Refuge Foursquare Church meets on the fourth floor of Everett Station at 3201 Smith Ave. Sunday services are at 10 a.m. Everyone is welcome. There also is a children’s ministry serving infants and children up through fifth grade. One of the church’s community service programs is providing weekly backpacks of food to 55 children at Garfield Elementary.
A special service also is planned for Easter Sunday, April 1. It will be followed by an egg hunt with prizes.
More info: www.refugefoursquare.org