Ahwatukee church on the move ahead of ADOT project

Posted at 6:49 AM, Sep 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-10 09:49:38-04

It is almost three years ago to the exact day that Mountain Park Community Church near 24th Street and Pecos Road was flooded.

A severe monsoon storm pummeled the valley and caused roughly $500,000 worth of damage to the Ahwatukee church.

"Initially, you're angry," said church employee Lani Willbanks back on September 8, 2014. "Because this is your plan of worship."

It was just about a year after they fixed it all up that they are now being forced to close down. 

It turns out, they are in the way of the Loop 202 expansion, and ADOT needs to knock the church down to continue building.

Sunday at 9 a.m. is their final service at their current location.

Senior Pastor Allan Fuller said, "We absolutely would have handled the remodeling differently if he had known what was to come."

"We didn't know! So, we had to repair and we had to keep moving," Fuller explained.

"And it was about a year after that whole experience that ADOT made the final decision that, 'Yep, we need to build a freeway there.' So, gah! Now, we have a whole new plan."

They have been in this location for roughly 20 years, and Fuller admits that packing up a church is a very difficult task. He said this final service is bittersweet, as they are moving just down the road to Pecos and I-10. 

"Whether the building is flooded or whether the building is going to get wiped out, it's the people," Fuller said. "And the people in this church are just amazing, and their response to things to what's going on and the care for one another and we will continue to be the church that we are wherever we are."

The new church location will open on October 1st.