By Marcus Elliott

Staff Writer

"The church is not a monument to God, but a movement of God."

That was the message that Pin Oaks Pastor Phil Morgan shared with his congregation on Sunday morning in a celebration service titled Welcome Home.

Owning a home is an exciting time for every family, and a church family is no different. For the second time in less than two years Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship has relocated — the first was for a larger facility, the second is into a permanent home in Anna.

During the summer of 2011, the church moved from a 2,500 sq. ft, 100-year old bank building in downtown Anna to the old Anna Middle School campus, a move that allowed the church to expand. In December, Pin Oaks purchased the Lone Star Party Barn on County Road 1106 on the Anna-Van Alstyne border.

"We have long held the belief that God has shown us great favor at every turn in our journey from one location to the next," Morgan said. "We couldn’t be more grateful and excited about the opportunities with this space."

Pin Oaks has been in temporary facilities as renters since its beginning a little over 10 years ago. One of the goals the church gave its new pastor when he was hired just more than four years ago was to help it secure a permanent home in Anna.

Moving into the building, there were some renovations that were made to help the church utilize the Party Barn and make it into a place of worship that can house the growing church family. From lighting, ceilings, a stage and parking lot, the building has gone through a makeover to prepare it for the ministries of the church.

"Our goal was to expand parking, renovate the main gathering room for worship, and address the ongoing needs of a large children’s ministry in the remaining space," Morgan said. "We have had thousands of volunteer hours by more than 100 people during our recent move and renovation of the new facility. From skilled laborers to people with time on their hands, from our youngest of [attendees] to our oldest, everyone played a part. It was refreshing to see the community effort made in this move."

The church held its first service in its new home in the past week with more than 250 in attendance.

"The space has turned out to be a great reflection of our God, the personality and warmth of the people that attend, and all with the necessary technology for the church to lead its ministries with excellence," Morgan said. "The church is not defined by a building, technology, or land, but by its people who have been called by God to make a difference in their community by loving others the way God has loved them."

In less than five years, the church has grown almost tenfold under the leadership of Morgan and looks to continue to reach out to the communities of Anna, Van Alstyne, Melissa and other towns within just a few miles of the church. One of the primary goals of the church is to help berth and plant other churches.

Morgan regularly reminds the church that by the time it reaches an attendance level of 500 it will be planting other churches. In the past three years, the church has sent one family to Honduras to serve orphans full time, is preparing to send another family next summer and has organized at least six international mission trips to Mexico and Europe.

"This building is a sending place for our church family," Morgan said. "As we gather to worship each week, the new facility will help us accomplish the goal of introducing people to Christ and helping them grow in that relationship; it will remind us of the role we must play in our homes, schools, businesses and community."

The church’s new facility is located at 2620 CR 1106 in Anna — just down the street from Katana Homes and Cold Springs Animal Hospital. Pin Oaks meets on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. and have children and youth ministry functions on Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m.

More information about Pin Oaks can be found on their website, www.pinoaks.org.