Community Swimming Pool Built By a Church

February 7, 2006 by

Harvest Church in Billings, Mont. is planning to build a community swimming pool. And you thought cup holders were cool. The community has tried to pass three bond measures in 15 years to pay for a pool but they’ve always failed. The second attempt failed in 2000, mere weeks after Harvest opened, giving Pastor Vern Streeter the idea of the church stepping in.

And the plan is for it to be a community pool, operated by a non-profit separate from the church.

“It’s very important people understand this is a Yellowstone County pool. This is a Montana pool,” Streeter said. “It’s not a church pool. You don’t have to be baptized in it before you can swim in it. …

“There’s been a sense by the general public that church is irrelevant,” Streeter said. “We want Harvest to be a place where the most ardent critic of Christianity would be bummed if we ceased to exist.”

The most recent update has the pool plans pushed back saying 2006 was simply too ambitious.

“We really, really, really worked hard to open it in spring ’06,” Streeter said. “We really wanted to do that.”

Pushing back the groundbreaking and opening dates gives the church time to design a better facility and to seek more funding.

“We could dig a hole in the ground and fill it with water,” Streeter said. “But we need amenities.”

So it’s a plan in process (like its web site), but it’s a cool idea for a church to make an impact on the community, especially since the church opted to pursue the pool before its own sanctuary. How’s that for making a statement?

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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8 Responses to “Community Swimming Pool Built By a Church”

  • Rick
    February 7, 2006

    Ok, I’ll say it first: Are they going to allow mixed bathing?

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  • janna
    February 8, 2006

    obviously they will. you can’t build a pool and then say “ok everyone no girls and boys swimming together, and you must wear longsleeved swimsuits so we won’t see any skin!”

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  • Michael
    February 8, 2006

    What a great way to give the church relevance. It really says ‘we care about what you care about’ ‘we care about you’…should be an easy transition to ‘but that’s nothing compared to how much God cares about you.’
    I will be interesting to see how they use this as a tool to reach people and share Christ with them.
    Sure, they’ll have to figure a few things out (and yes the ‘bathing suits’ being one of them), but I think they are really on to something.
    I love the thinking behind both this and the cupholders. Think about the people you serve! Bravo!

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  • Betsy
    February 8, 2006

    “We want Harvest to be a place where the most ardent critic of Christianity would be bummed if we ceased to exist.”
    That really sets the bar for the rest of us to meet, doesn’t it?

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  • s. zeilenga
    February 8, 2006

    “We want Harvest to be a place where the most ardent critic of Christianity would be bummed if we ceased to exist.”
    — definately up for CMS Quote of the Year Awared.

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  • Call Me Ishmael
    February 8, 2006

    I’ve heard they have fairly long winters in Montana.

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  • Carl McLendon
    May 9, 2006

    That is a beautiful idea. We’re trying to get our church to build an outdoor amphitheater covered by a permanent tent so that the community can use the space. UT students coming to watch movies, concerts, study, get coffee. Families coming for various productions, movies, etc. The idea is to get them to come and then get them to help serve the poor, the marginalized.

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  • pool sauna
    February 2, 2010

    Very simply, a pool cover will give you peace of mind. This is because the coverage can be a very effective barrier against a child entering the pool, while unsupervised. Although we always try to see our children around the pool, there are many cases of children drown each year while they were kept.

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