Clarksville church to open GLBT community center

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Clarksville’s first gay-affirming Christian church is moving to its new permanent home next month. Christian Community Church of Clarksville is moving to 125 Riverside Drive and will have its first worship celebration in its new home on October 2 at 4 p.m. The church also plans to use the facility as “Freedom House,” a GLBT community center for the Clarksville area.

“When Christian Community Church of Clarksville opened our doors in June 2004,” The Reverend Jerri Ewell said, “one of our goals was to open a community center for the GLBT community in Clarksville. Today, I am pleased to announce that we are close to reaching that goal.”

He also said that the goal with the community center is to offer a central place for our community to meet, fellowship, build relationships and form a strong community of support.

Church leaders held a town hall style meeting on September 18 to discuss with community members any possible use of the facility.

“We wanted to know what you, as a member of the community, would like to see happen,” Ewell said. “In other words, what programs, special events, etc., you think we need to sponsor. To make this goal a reality, we are looking for ways to raise money to open and furnish the building.”

David W. Shelton, a member of the church, is excited about the possibilities the community center has for the community.

“My hope is that the local GLBT community will embrace this center as a safe place for everyone whether they’re out or not,” Shelton said. “This facility is for all of us. I’m elated that I’m part of a church that lifts the name of Christ above all and will work to show His love to everyone.”
Shelton said that the center will be a safe place for anyone, no matter their religion.

“Our mission is to preach Christ, and to help Clarksville embrace everyone and to affirm all elements of diversity in this community,” Shelton added. “Freedom House is a part of that.” He said there will be a small library available as well as regional GLBT publications on site.

Ewell said that the church is planning a yard sale on October 24 to help raise money for the facility. Anyone interested in donating items for the sale can contact Shelton at (931) 552-9316.