True Life Youth Ministries held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly renovated Christ Presbyterian Church, now a Christian youth center, on Tuesday, Dec. 5.

The ministry was gifted the church — and adjoining 3.4 acres — by its congregation in November 2020. Since then, they have undergone a $2 million project renovating the 1300 W. Maple St. property.

Read More: Campaign begins to convert historic church into faith-based youth center

The congregation hall remains a focal point of the center.

Additions to the church include a full-sized gym complete with a basketball court.

The kitchen has been upgraded to better serve the over 125 students enrolled in the youth group.

A large dining area has also been added.

The center also includes an administrative office, classrooms, and recreation or relaxation areas for students.

While $2.1 million was budgeted for repairs and remodels, the ministry came $100,000 under budget, said True Life executive director Jerry Higley.

Attendees of note Tuesday included Lebanon Mayor Sherry Capello and state Rep. John Schlegel (R-101), both of whom presented certificates to the ministry.

Also in attendance were several current and previous students of True Life Youth Ministries.

“The True Life Youth Center is an act of love for the children and teenagers of Lebanon,” said Higley. “A place where we can minister to them holistically. A place where they can be taught life skills, a place to help them prepare, but most importantly; a place where students of all ages will be introduced to Jesus, their lives will be changed, and their faith will grow.”

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.


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