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Local church sees continued growth, need to expand

After moving around Pathway Community Church finds a place

Photo by Michele Newbanks Pastor Ryan Miller practices for Sunday services Wednesday at the Pathway Community Church.

If you go

¯ Who: Pathway Community Church.

¯ Address: 113 Ellsworth Ave., the former Evergreen Community Center, Marietta.

¯ In-person service times: 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

¯ Online service times: Pathway Kids Alive at 9 a.m. through the church’s Facebook page; and church service at 10:30 a.m. on the Facebook page or at pathwaymarietta.com.

Source: Pathway Community Church.

After bouncing around Marietta, the Pathway Community Church finally found a home in August at the former Evergreen Community Center.

When the building was going to be sold, they put in their own offer. They closed the sale on Dec. 23, just in time for Christmas.

Pastor Ryan Miller said the church started on Oct. 23, 2016, at the Reno Business Park, where they rented a space for three years.

“We outgrew the space and ended up landing in Ewing School,” he explained.

They spent a school year at Ewing, but when COVID-19 hit, they lost access to the facility.

From there they spent Sunday nights at the Broughton Community Building on Ohio 821, and in August, made the final move to the Ellsworth Avenue location.

Miller said they are creating a “life-giving culture” at the church.

“We want people to find life when you come to church, so we do a lot of things to help people have that experience,” he explained.

From greeters in the parking lot to doughnuts and fresh coffee to background music playing, Miller said there is an awesome environment when people walk in.

“We’re trying to help people who are far from God to meet God and start a relationship with Him,” the pastor remarked. “It is one of our key focuses of our church.”

Kathy and Mike Brown of Parkersburg heard about Pathway from friends who attended.

“After the first service we attended, we felt comfortable and very welcomed there,” Kathy said. “The pastor and his wife introduced themselves and the volunteers were very helpful and friendly. We enjoyed the service, the praise and worship time and the message were both upbeat and very relevant.”

Miller said he tries to teach the Bible “in a very understandable way for people who read it regularly and for people who don’t read it at all.”

“I try to make the Bible as simple as possible … more relatable to your everyday life,” he noted.

He’s been a pastor since they planted the church in 2016, but he worked with the Coalition for Christian Outreach for 12 years. He felt God called him to start his own church.

“God really blessed and provided for the launch of our church,” he added.

Kathy said the church is very community-minded.

“It’s not just about growing ‘us’ but growing the Kingdom,” she said. “This is modeled from leadership on down.”

She said it’s been a good thing to have a more permanent home for the congregation.

“Since Pathway had been in several different locations, being able to finally settle in one place was very important,” she said. “It’s difficult to grow our congregation when we were moving around.”

She explained this particular facility was what the church was meant to have for this season.

“Besides the two services on Sunday mornings, we have small groups going on now, a very active and growing student ministry, and other events coming up,” Kathy added. “There are events for families, kids, and women or couples going on quite frequently. Pathway is continuing to seek God’s direction and praying for the people and communities surrounding us.”

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

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