Christian Faith Center 'going vertical'


The Mirror

It’s being billed as the state’s largest Christian complex, and next month, construction of Christian Faith Center in Federal Way is scheduled to take a major step toward completion next year.

The facility is being built on 50 acres at South 336th Street, between Interstate 5 and Pacific Highway South.

The center was first proposed in 1999, but the permit process and City Council approval –– over the protests of some citizens –– took several years.

“During that time, costs skyrocketed,” Christian Faith Center board member Debera Willis said, adding the price of materials such as steel dramatically increased.

With the permits in place, Willis said the church needed to go back to the drawing board, asking contractors to reevaluate their cost estimates. The finances have been sorted out, she said, and the project is moving on to its next major phase.

So far, work has consisted of paving the parking lot and creating foundations.

“We’ve done everything we can do on the ground,” Willis said. “Next month, we start going vertical.”

The hope, she said, is that Christian Faith Center pastor Casey Treat and his congregation can be in the building by Easter 2007.

“It would be great if we could do it,” Willis said, adding weather and other factors could cause delays to the construction schedule.

When complete, the facility will be much more than the average church. It will include:

• A 4,500-seat, 220,000-square foot sanctuary with a wedding chapel, bookstore, meeting rooms, media production facilities and Dominion College.

• A youth center, Kinderchurch and daycare classrooms.

• An 88,000-square foot Christian Faith School with computer labs, science labs, a gymnasium and athletic fields.

The public will soon be able to monitor the progress of the construction via a live webcam that should be available on the the center’s Web site in the coming weeks.

“It is going to be a beautiful campus,” Willis said.

The need for such a large facility, she said, stems from lack of space in the center’s other locations in south Everett and Seatac. A census of those attending services revealed many lived south of the center’s current locations.

“Federal Way seemed to be the ideal location,” Willis said.

City Councilman Jim Ferrell said having the center in Federal Way could bring an economic boost. Those frequenting the center, he said, could eat at local restaurants, shop or buy gas nearby.

“I think it’s going to be good for the city,” Ferrell said.

When it was first proposed, the center faced opposition from residents concerned about the additional traffic congestion and environmental impacts from such a large facility. Others were concerned about a megachurch in the city.

Since the center received the council’s approval in 2004 and a groundbreaking ceremony that October that included some council members, there hasn’t been much opposition to the project, Willis said.

“Hopefully, (the Federal Way community is) getting excited about having us there. We’re certainly excited,” she said. “We’re going to be good neighbors. We’re excited about the opportunities we’ll be able to bring to the area.”

Staff writer Philip Palermo: 925-5565,

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