Old supermarket transforms into new life as a church


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The Grove Church in Titusville purchased an abandoned Gooding’s Supermarket to renovate as its church home. A church volunteer cuts scrap metal to size with an angle grinder.

SENIOR LIFE Dan Reigada

For nearly 20 years, the old Gooding’s Supermarket at the intersection of Harrison Street and Barna Avenue in Titusville was an empty shell falling into decay. 

That was before The Grove Church, of which Brad Russell is lead pastor, had a bigger vision.

Instead of ruin, they saw a church home, complete with a 700- to 800-seat auditorium, classrooms, a large lobby and coffee shop for social gatherings, offices and more.

To bring this to fruition, they purchased the 55,000 square-foot building for $750,000.

“For five years, we have been a mobile church. This is our first owned property,” Executive Pastor Dustin Sams said. “It will be our launch pad for a ministry to impact lives in North Brevard and beyond — locally, regionally, nationally and globally.”

For now, the church meets at three campuses: The Titusville YMCA, Challenger 7 Elementary School in Cocoa and the Brevard County Jail.

Some say the church’s new location is at the corner of where Titusville is divided. The La Cita Country Club community is just a mile away and some of the city’s impoverished areas are nearby. For community pastor Jason Walton, this is a plus.

“The location is at the heart of the city,” he said.

However, in order to transform an old grocery store into a modern church, Sams said a complete overhaul is needed. It will include new flooring, ceiling, walls, air-conditioning, an electrical system and roofing.

The makeover is estimated to cost $2 million. Construction led by Loyd Contracting is being planned, with blueprints being drawn and building permits being secured.

Each Tuesday, church members volunteer their time to get the building ready.

Sams estimates offices will be relocated to the facility by the new year.

“The first worship service is more than a year away,” he said.

Campus pastor Barry Russell summed up The `Grove’s motivation.

“We want to bring hope to the community we love,” he said.