TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -Southside Presbyterian has made it their goal for more than a century to serve everyone. On Sunday, they took a step towards their future in hopes to keep with the trend.
Despite the sweltering heat beating down from the Arizona sun, the happiness among the crowd at Southside Presbyterian Church at Sunday's groundbreaking event was evident.
Church goers and community members sang along to "We've Come this Far by Faith." It was only fitting. The church truly has.
"This new season of the life of this church is about to begin," said Reverend Alison Harrington. She led the ceremony, and explained that season officially began over the weekend. She speaks proudly as the head of it all.
"It means a lot to those of us who are leaders in the church now to be able to be part of this new season of Southside's life."
Those same sentiments are shared by church goers like Teena Cross.
She's been going to Southside since she was 5.
"It's my life. This is my family," Cross explained. She's a deacon at the church and has helped many people during their toughest times through the years. She's seen the help the church could use, too.
"We've been living with swamp coolers and in the summertime with the flies. All the other things we've been dealing with to make sure we can accommodate the community," Cross said.
Southside has been known as a sanctuary church for decades.
Part of the plans include updates to the kitchen to better serve the homeless and expanding their fellowship hall to be used as a hub for legal clinics and community gaherings.
Harrington hopes with these renovations, it can continue down that path.
"This church doesn't exist for itself alone, but for the benefit of the community," said Harrington.
Changes will be taking place at Southside throughout the next ten months, when the more than $2-million dollar project is expected to be close to complete.
Southside Presbyterian is still fundraising for the project. They need about $400,000 more to make their goal.
If you’d like to help, you can visit this website to donate. http://www.southsidepresbyterian.org/capital-campaign1.html