Why Lebanon’s Journey Church may launch a new Christian school as expansion plans submitted

Why Lebanon’s Journey Church may launch a new Christian school as expansion plans submitted

The Journey Church in Lebanon has submitted expansion plans that would nearly double its building space, a move which could include launching a new Christian school.

The plan, which addresses recent growth at The Journey Church, will add nearly 51,000 square feet under the roof and 120 additional parking spots at 1240 Leeville Pike. Church leaders submitted plans to the city.

Executive pastor Matt Espenshade said a new school is part of the strategic vision. The goal is to service parents that don’t feel they can afford a traditional Christian school, are frustrated with issues in public schools and don’t feel equipped to homeschool their children.

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“We’re still in the exploratory stage of what it would look like,” Espenshade said. “Part of this journey is to understand what our community needs and desires in a Christian school. But certainly, the foundational element of our school will be a robust education in a Biblical worldview. 

The Journey Church is already used as a venue for homeschool tutorials, Espenshade said, drawing approximately 400 youth — ages 12-under — for Sunday services and around 100 more in older school grades.

Around 1,600 people attend its Sunday services.

Interest in a school under The Journey Church umbrella originated within and from outside the church, Espenshade added. The church has also held informational meetings about a future school.

The submitted site plan in Lebanon would provide educational and “kids ministry” space on Sundays and during the week.

The proposed expansion includes second story space, a new lobby, walkways and a small expansion to the worship space. The worship area can seat around 1,000 and the expansion would add room for roughly 150 additional seats.

In 2020, the church moved to the former West Hills Baptist Church. Erik Reed is the lead pastor.

Reach Andy Humbles at ahumbles@tennessean.com or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.