Monday, October 12, 2009
The Monterey Church Events Manager and church member Rebecca Halton, 25, spoke on behalf of Pastor Bryan James and the church about stepping into the management, on Nov. 2, of the downtown venue—and about themselves—as reported in the Weekly on Oct. 10.
Pastor James arrived in Monterey with his wife Elaine and four children (three girls, one boy) in 2005, says Halton, and established the fledgling church shortly thereafter. The non-denominational Christian church has since grown to a congregation of “a couple hundred,” comprised of many young people, including students, military, families, locals and newcomers. Halton, originally from Pennsylvania, arrived on the Peninsula less than a year ago to study International Policy and Spanish at Monterey Institute of International Studies.
The church, which has offices downtown, holds morning services on Sunday at the Golden State Theatre—as it has for the last year.
“As the church grew in numbers,” says Halton, “it made sense to take on more of a role in the stewarding of the theater. The Golden State Theatre is still going to be the Golden State Theatre. We’re planning on preserving the historic beauty, making some technical upgrades and additional renovations, like the office spaces." She also says the church will put their name on the marquee.
Though she expects the church will maintain Golden State Theatre’s website and will rent out the space to third parties, of other substantial changes she is not sure—like the future line-up of films, or if the church would book Willie Nelson.
“We would consider Willie Nelson. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” says Halton.
Will the church book comedians who swear?
“We are, first and foremost, a church, so the selection of events at the theater will reflect our desire to support the community, strengthen and enrich it, [and create a place] where families can enjoy things together. We’ll have stuff that’s not religious-based. The UNA Film Festival seems like an event worth bringing back [in coming years].”
She defers to Pastor James, who was not available for comment at the time, on matters of specifics about event programming, but elaborates on the growth that allowed them to take the helm in this latest endeavor.
“We strive to have our lives be examples,” says Halton of the church’s ministry and outreach, which includes visits to assisted living facilities and charity work. “Often times the example speaks for itself and people want to learn about the church and Jesus Christ. We’re here to be as much a part of the community as we want the community to be a part of us.
"I feel confident to say that Bryan gives glory to God for how the church has grown."
Halton didn’t know the specifics of the deal that Pastor James worked out with Warren Dewey, but in her role as Events Manager, did offer a tip on an upcoming event.
This Friday, Oct. 16, at 6pm, they hold a “Sister Swap ‘n’ Meet,” a combination meet-n-greet/swap-meet/potluck during which women are invited to mingle and trade clothing and other items. “It’s at the church, on the third floor,” says Halton, by “church,” meaning the Golden State Theatre.
Addendum: In an Oct. 13 e-mail, Pastor James responded with the following:
The church congregation numbers more than 400, not a couple hundred, as was quoted; the church has been meeting at Golden State Theatre for two years, not one; and on the matter of whether they would book secular acts such as Willie Nelson: "I would be sitting the front row- I love Willie!"