City approves Baptists turning bar into church

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Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 12:00 am

The Springfield Baptist Church has found its home in Stack’s Bar and BBQ after the Springfield City Council approved the permit for the group to operate there on July 2.

The Springfield Baptist Church, after years of looking in and around Springfield for a sanctuary of their own and failed attempts to rent space on Main Street, will soon buy Stack’s, located at 189 Locust St.

During the city council meeting’s public hearing, Glenn Trembley, co-owner of Springfield Artworks Gallery, stood up and gave his full support for the church to move into Stack’s.

“I opposed this a few months ago when the Baptists wanted to be on Main Street, but I applaud them now for finding a home,” he said.

There was some concern by the council over the matter of a church opening near the American Legion Springfield Post, which has a permit to serve beer. But Kathleen Gottsch, the city’s clerk and treasurer, said the church is 198 feet away — far enough by statute — from the Legion hall and the post is grandfathered in for their liquor license and will have no problem continuing to serve alcohol.

Lee Smith, who oversees the Baptist group, said the sale of the former bar should be all but completed, now that the permit has been approved. Now the church can turn its attentions to preparing for worship.

“We should be good to go for now,” Smith said after the vote. “We have work to do, which reminds me: we need more chairs.”

Smith said he hopes the church will hold its first services in the next few weeks.

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