Breaking new ground

Published 8:05 pm Monday, January 24, 2011

Ground was broken Sunday for the new Christian Student Center on the corner of George Wallace Drive and University Avenue. The CSC is a ministry of Collegedale Church of Christ. Pictured from left, Thad Pittman, Collegedale Church of Christ elder; Jerry Miller Christian Student Center treasurer; John Huggins, Collegedale elder; Hubert Conner, Collegedale elder; Bobby Templin, Collegedale pulpit minister and Rick Cochran, CSC campus minister.

On Sunday afternoon, ground was broken for the new Christian Student Center on the corner of George Wallace Drive and University Avenue. The Christian Student Center has been a ministry of Collegedale Church of Christ for about 30 years.

A new facility to house the Center had been a “dream, a desire, a want” for a number of years, said Rick Cochran, campus minister.

“Today, we begin making that dream come true,” Cochran said. “This groundbreaking ceremony is a happy occasion. It comes after a lot of praying and hard work. Today, we celebrate.”

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The Christian Student Center originally opened on Collegedale Street and, over the years, other efforts to relocate the CSC never came to fruition.

However, Jerry Miller, CSC treasurer, said when the property on George Wallace and University became available in 1990, it was an ideal location for the CSC.

“I believe the Lord has His hand in this,” Miller said. “We had tried to buy other property but we couldn’t make it work. This property was in foreclosure and we made an offer of $50,000 and some odd cents and it was quickly accepted.”

Through the generosity of the Collegedale Church of Christ membership and CSC alumni, the debt was quickly paid off.

Bobby Templin, Collegedale Church of Christ pulpit minister, said the house on the property had been used as the CSC since the purchase of the property but it needed a lot of repair.

“Through a lot of prayer and commitment from the church, it was decided to bring the old house down and build a new, modern facility,” Templin said. “The new CSC will be about 3,600 square feet and feature a main room for devotionals, Bible classes and different other large group activities.”

There will also be a living room area, kitchen, campus minister’s office and a residence area.

Cochran told those who gathered for the groundbreaking that he felt like a kid in a candy shop.

“I am the benefactor of something great,” he said. “This new CSC will play a role in the spiritual development of many students at the university. And, what’s so special about the CSC is that it’s the students’ choice to come. They don’t have to be here. So, with those who come, the harvest is ripe. This is a place where students can come to find Christ’s love and the love of others. None of us are perfect but this place will be perfect for the purpose.”