Chapels, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques. These are all some typical places of worship. One new church group, however, is setting up shop in a hotel.
Although their location is not planned to be permanent, Anthem Church comes from a system of churches in Iowa that is establishing its residence at Stoney Creek Hotel in Columbia, off of Providence Rd.
This is a process called church planting, which is where a church organization develops a team to start a new church somewhere else. For pastor Stan Hayek and company, they have traveled 277 miles in hopes that the roots of the gospel will run deep in their new home.
“We like Stoney Creek,” Pastor Stan Hayek said. “We would like to continue to stay here but they are a business, so they have a lot of things going on in the spring that will cause us to jump around as a church. Ideally, something permanent would be great, but we’ll see and we’ll do what we need to do to have a spot on Sunday.”
Cornerstone Church, along with the student ministry called The Salt Company, began in Ames, Iowa in 1994. The church is responsible for planting several churches throughout Iowa. In 2014, Candeo Church was planted in Waterloo, Iowa with Hayek and Paul Sabino leading the way. After plating the church in Waterloo, Hayek was considering bringing a team to Columbia, but says it didn’t seem likely at the time. But then he says a group of people approached him to fulfill the vision they had to start a new church.
The Salt Company is the college based portion of Anthem that meets in the University of Missouri Student Center on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. in Leadership Auditorium. Normal service hours for Anthem Church are on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. in Stoney Creek Hotel.
“I love our vision statement which is to help people know, love, and obey Christ,” Anthem Church staff member Bo Pardel said. “That’s really what we do here is preach out of the Bible and speak truth into each others and encourage each other.”
“We didn’t want to be the last bulb on the circuit,” Hayek said. “We’ve had a heart since day one to see churches get planted, being a church plant ourselves. Cornerstone wants to see at least 20 churches being planted in the next 5 years.”