LJWorld.com weblogs Town Talk

Old church with new name to build multimillion dollar project in southwest Lawrence


A big new church at the Kasold curve in southwest Lawrence makes sense. If you have ever been a white-knuckled passenger in one of my family vehicles as it speeds around that big curve at 31st and Kasold, you would understand why. Regardless, look for construction to soon begin on a multimillion dollar church facility.

The Lawrence Wesleyan Church has filed plans with City Hall to build a new church on property just south of 31st Street where it turns into Kasold Drive. Plans call for a $5 million church building that will feature a sanctuary that can seat about 400 people.

Courtesy: Lawrence Wesleyan Church

Courtesy: Lawrence Wesleyan Church by Chad Lawhorn

But the big new building is only part of the news, said Elizabeth Scheib, connection and communications director for the church. The church is also changing its name. In early May the 80-year old Lawrence church will change its name to Connect Church.

“We have been around here for 80 years, but for a number of years the question we often here is “What is a Wesleyan?” Scheib said.

Wesleyan is a Christian denomination named after John Wesley, who is more commonly associated with the United Methodist denomination. The Wesleyan denomination is smaller and less well known than many of the other large Protestant denominations. Scheib said that played a role in the pending name change.

“We cherish our denomination, but most people don’t come to Lawrence looking for a Wesleyan Church,” Scheib said. They come to Lawrence looking for a place to connect, and hopefully they will consider us.”

The church will remain a part of the The Wesleyan Church denomination.

As for the building, the church is planning for growth. The new building will feature a sanctuary that is about double the size of the church’s current facility at 3705 Clinton Parkway. In addition, the new facility will feature a youth area, complete with a gaming area on a mezzanine level, a children’s area, a kitchen, and a foyer area that will double as meeting space for the church and other community organizations that use the church as a base of operations.

Also important to note is that the project includes a large amount of ground for future expansion. As we previously have reported, the church bought essentially all the vacant farmland that was just south of the Kasold curve. The church sold a good part of that land to a development group led by John McGrew, who has been building duplexes and other housing on the site. Scheib, though, said the church retained 7 acres for its project.

“There is plenty of room to expand, when need be,” she said.

The plans filed with the city show an athletic field — like a soccer field — being located on the open space behind the church. But Scheib said those plans are tentative. She said church leaders are exploring several options, including a sports field, a disc golf course or even a playground that could be made available to the neighborhood.

“We want to be a good neighbor,” she said. “We are really dedicated to serving the community.”

The church has a congregation of about 700 and growing, Scheib said. For the past 30 years, Nate Rovenstine, along with his wife, Janet, have served as the lead pastor of the church.

Look for construction to begin on the church in early May. The church will host a groundbreaking on May 7, at which point the name of the church also will be officially changed to Connect Church. The new church building is expected to open in the spring or summer of 2018. In the meantime, the church will continue to meet at is building at 3705 Clinton Parkway. Scheib said the church has put that building on the market, so the church is prepared to move into temporary space if it is sold prior to the completion of the new building. I’ll keep an eye on that spot as well. It is a fairly large two-story building that used to be commercial space, and probably could be converted back to that use. It previously housed the Raintree Montessori School, and before that it served as the district offices for Lawrence Public Schools.


Sean Rudisel 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The advertising on this website has grown out of control. First the .com people added annoying pop-up ads like its 1997, then an auto-playing video on the home page like their site is an old geocities page, and now TT has a floating add that you can’t even close???? Is there a first year graphic design student currently in charge of your .com page?

Chad Lawhorn 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi Sean: We obviously have launched a video ad program on our site. We aren’t entirely happy with how it is functioning at the moment either. We do our best to test these programs before roll out, but unfortunately it is difficult to know how they will interact with our site and the various browsers until the program goes live. In other words, we’re working to make changes to the program. Those changes should minimize some of the aspects that users currently find annoying. We obviously want a good user experience, and we’re sorry that it is not better currently. Thank you for your patience on it. Chad Lawhorn, editor.

Sean Rudisel 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I appreciate the comment. Im glad LJWorld is aware of the problems with the site advertising and look forward to their resolution. I hit the site numerous times a day and it's become frustrating with how slow to respond the page is while it's loading all the media and content. Please dont become KMBC.com! Their site is even worse.

Alex Landazuri 9 months, 3 weeks ago

i use chrome and have adblock plus installed as an extension, i havent seen any of these ads.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I couldn't even get on the site for a couple of days.

Chuck Wehner 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Its definitely messed up, it took me forever just to post this comment. A reader extension for your browser would probably help in the meantime. In case you don't know a reader extension allows you to read the content without the adds. Its built into the Safari and Edge browsers but an add on for other browsers.

Peaty Romano 9 months, 3 weeks ago

They better plan on installing a stop light on the curve area if we are going to have even more traffic on 31st. I live off of Atchison Ave and it's already a nightmare trying to turn east on 31st. People come around the turn at a high rate of speed. With the Duplexes across the street it's been even more difficult to turn on the road.

Andy Craig 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The print edition that I get delivered every morning has no pop up ads or videos. Keep up the good work Chad!

Chuck Wehner 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Sure, but you get ink all over your fingers!

Sean Rudisel 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I too get the print edition. However I use the .com throughout my day to see any new or updated news stories. So site performance is important to this hardcopy reader as well

Chris Warman 9 months, 3 weeks ago

But you can't comment in the driveway edition. That does remind me though, I need to order the paper

Bill McGovern 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Lawrence is a town of churches and banks lol

Clara Westphal 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I no longer subscribe to a print copy because I became tired of picking it up out of the gutter.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I have also had problems with he web site. I have e-mailed Chad regarding this and he has responded. I offered the information that I am one of the three or four people in Lawrence still using Internet Explorer. He recommended other web browsers, but I am not sure just how to switch. If you are having trouble with the site, do you also use IE? Just doing some checking.

Laura Wilson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I use both Google Chrome and Firefox. I get popups and redirects with both. It's very annoying. I'm using Chrome right now and, sure enough, an ad opened in a second window when I clicked on this article.

Brandon Devlin 9 months, 3 weeks ago

  • Download
  • Install
  • Import bookmarks (if you want/need to)
  • Enjoy an IE-free experience. Delete the IE icon from your desktop just for fun. :)
  • Bonus step: set your new browser as the "default," as IE loves to continue to be your "default" browser.

Now, I will offer the caveat that there are certain websites (work things) that I've been forced to use IE for, but that's the only reason I would ever use it.

Bob Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

On my home iMac, I can't log in to LJW using Facebook Connect and Safari. I'm using Chrome here at work and have seen pages crashing and having to be reloaded the last couple of days.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.