EAST PEORIA -- An East Peoria mega church is preparing to move into a new $9 million building.
The Harvest Bible Chapel started with just a few hundred members. They gather at East Peoria's Embassy Suites.
As it makes the transition to a new building, with 57,000 square feet, even the Senior Pastor says he's in awe of its progress.
Tim Harkness said, "Right now... would we have guessed this or projected this? No. But you know what we're happy to be here, love it, and love seeing what God's doing and we're excited to be apart of it."
The congregation has grown to 1,500 in just six years. Harkness said his formula is simple. "We dive deep with Jesus Christ, we're passionate about our relationship with him so our goal is to get people fired up."
This church may look more like an auditorium or a theater but Pastor Harkness said keeping his message contemporary is the key.
Harkness said he wants to keep his people coming back for more each week, making it interesting and meaningful.
Church attendee Amanda Voorhees has attended for six months and loves it. She said, "I love the atmosphere and the attitude... it's exciting every week and it builds a lot of fire and passion for the week to come."
Harkness said giving people that passion is what spreads throughout the community. They tell their family and their friends, and the Harvest Bible Chapel continues to grow.
Harkness said, "So our thing is not to sell it, not to go advertising it, but to make sure that they understand who Christ is what the scripture has to say about it. Let's teach it real, let's teach it hard and let's get passionate as we go and those people, you wouldn't believe how good they are at drawing people in."
The church will officially move into its new home on November 11. Services begin at 9 AM and 11 AM.