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    Horizon East moves to double harvest field


    Horizon East County has experienced tremendous growth in its four-year history – current average Sunday morning attendance is 1600 people – but its recent move from Rancho San Diego to La Mesa has doubled its harvest field.

    “There were 200,000 people in the 5-mile radius around the old location and we’ve doubled to 400,000 around our new facility,” noted Pastor Mike Burns. “It’s a tremendous opportunity. I see this area as being the Gateway to East County and we’re really excited.”

    The church has been meeting at its new location on the east side of I-8, between Jackson and Spring streets, since Easter morning, when it drew a record attendance of 3,400. However, the facility has been far from complete. Construction at the former Silo store at 8363 Center Drive has continued in preparation for a June 15 grand opening.

    “It’s been crazy,” said Rod Kaya, evangelism pastor. “The work crews are here Monday through Friday. Then on Friday at 4 p.m., we start setting up for Sunday services. We lay carpet and cover the building material, set up the stage and chairs – everything to ‘dress it up.’ The children meet in modulars and a large tent in the parking lot.”

    Come June 15, church members will see a 50,000 sq. ft. facility including a 10,000 sq. ft. sanctuary that seats 1,200 people initially and up to 2,000 when phase 2 is complete.

    There is a glass-enclosed foyer that adds a friendly atmosphere to the area, Burns said, and inside, the sanctuary features tiered seating, a multi-dimensional stage with professional lighting, two high resolution 20-foot multi-media video screens, and a concert quality sound system.

    In giving a tour of the facility, Pastor Burns was excited to share about a 15,000 sq. ft. Promiseland Children Ministry area. It incorporates a number of classrooms, an outdoor eating area and three separate children’s play areas that were purchased from a Discovery Zone that went out of business.

    The Horizon Cafe and Bookstore, behind the main sanctuary, includes a patio area outside the cafe. Parents visiting the cafe can observe their children in the Promiseland area via a video monitor.

    Taking over the Silo store location also meant the church could use the 70-ft. sign in the parking lot, giving it tremendous visibility from I-8. A daily occurrence at the complex is a car driving up and asking construction workers about the service times. A church spokesman said the sign is the third tallest in the county.

    “Some of the people coming because of the sign don’t know who we are,” Burns said. “They’re curious. That’s our target – the unchurched – and that’s where we get the most growth. Every week there has been an opportunity to hear the Gospel and every week decisions have been made for Jesus Christ.”

    Since Easter, the average church attendance figures for adults and children has increased from 1,325 to 1,625.

    Horizon East County is an affiliate of Horizon Christian Fellowship in Clairemont, which has more than 6,000 people on multiple campuses in the county, pastored by Dr. Mike Macintosh. Mike Burns was an associate Pastor with Horizon San Diego for seven years. Both Horizons are affiliated with Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, pastored by Chuck Smith, founder.

    For more information about Horizon East, call (619) 670-4312.


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