Cedar Falls church officially changes hands - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Falls church officially changes hands

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL)-- Sunday, September 12 was marked as national "Going Back to Church" day.  It's a movement that aims to reverse declining church attendance across the country.  One Cedar Falls church knows the struggles of keeping a congregation afloat.  After 50 years, Valley View Baptist Church has disbanded.  But the break-up is making way for a new church to emerge.

The church building for Valley View has been in place for more than five decades.  But slowly, the church body dwindled.  So it started sharing the space with Kaio Church, a start-up congregation that's been slowly growing since being founded in 2006.

"It's amazing to see the church work this way.  Before this, we didn't have any relationship with Valley View and God just worked it out so we could work together with a common purpose," said Matt Dunkerton, worship leader at Kaio Church.

Valley View leaders saw Kaio's growth as a way to keep a strong faith community in the existing building for the future.  So it gave the building to Kaio and disbanded.  Sunday, Kaio members got to worship under their new roof for the first time.

"Obviously we'd had hopes of someday having our own facility.  And it's amazing to see how God has brought this about, and the blessing it is the other church was willing to turn over their facility to use to be able to grow in," said Tom Ogston with Kaio Church.

Kaio also wants to be a strong part of the community in setting an example for others, while hoping to pull in more members to its growing place of worship.

"It just starts individually with each of us being good neighbors to people we live with, people that we work with, that we go to school with and saying, "Hey, this is a place that we get together on a weekly basis," and to invite people to join the community that we're already a part of," said Angela Dunkerton with Kaio Church.

So now church leaders and members are excited to put their added space to use, and to see what new opportunities the facility will bring.

Kaio's congregation has grown for a few families to around 40 members.  The church is already setting aside money from offerings it collects to plant more Kaio branches in the future.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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