PENDLETON — On Easter, April 16, Tom Wiles, senior minister, will celebrate his 10-year anniversary with Fall Creek Christian Church.

The church has become his home, a place he’d like to minister at until God tells him otherwise.

Over the past several years, church leaders have seen the congregation at 1102 W. County Road 700S grow from a steady crowd of 250 parishioners to an estimated 475 members attending services and gatherings each week.

A large part of the church growth has to do with the number of families attending who have young children and teens.

To accommodate the growing flock, church leaders are looking to add an extension to the church. Plans are well under way to provide a new children’s and teens’ building addition.

Church officials hope to raise an estimated $850,000, as soon as possible, to pay for construction.

The driving motivation for the extension is to have a quality place for young people in the church to enjoy, Wiles said. (Wiles’ weekly columns appear on the Churches page of the Times-Post.)

“The church is functional, as it is, we’re making it work, but certainly those spaces can be improved, and in doing so it will create a better learning environment,” Wiles said.

Creating new spaces also will give church leaders more options for how to use the area for other church functions throughout the week, officials said.

The addition will have four elementary school classrooms, a nursery, a preschool room, a kitchen, a junior high school room, a senior high school room, bathrooms and a large-group meeting room able to hold 150 to 200 people.

The extension also will have its own covered entrance as well as a connecting hallway to the church gym.

Adding the new section will help not only church leaders better handle their current growth numbers; an extension helps them become a larger player in the neighborhood.

“We can let the facility be free to be used in the community for other activities and events, and we can have multiple things happening at the same time,” Wiles said.

They estimate the construction cost to be around $750,000, with furnishings and fixtures costing another $100,000.

A community member recently donated $50,000, bringing the current total raised to an estimated $260,000.

Church officials have decided to raise the rest of the money through donations rather than borrow it.

Church elder Jack Sweeney also has taken of the role of building chairman. He’s been attending Fall Creek Christian Church for seven years and helped make the decision to add on to their current facility while keeping the church debt-free.

The current building is really two buildings connected together, so the extension will be a third structure, he said. “They all have an architecture that blends them together, so it’s not like a piecemeal.”

Church officials already have hired an architect and a builder who are ready to get the project going as soon as the church can raise the funds.

“We will not start the project until we have the funds in hand,” Sweeney said.

Wiles agrees. He likes the idea of the church having no debt, and he said they are on a faith-based journey to move forward with construction when the Lord provides the money.

The expansion will add an estimated 8,000 square feet of space to the church. It’s a massive yet manageable expansion for the growing organization, leaders said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the cause can do so by visiting or calling 765-778-3166.