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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 01/30/13
Interim Pastor Steve Zarilli in the chapel at Woodside Church, formerly known as Stone Ridge Church.
(Observer photo by Marianne Weiss)
New Woodside church wants to
help build a stronger community
by MARIANNE WEISSChanges and remodeling are still under way even after the grand opening services held last Sunday at the new Woodside Bible Church.
Observer Special Writer
Formerly the Stone Ridge Church at the southwest intersection of 32 Mile and Campground roads, the new congregation has already increased in number and they plan to do more in the Romeo community, reaching out to area families.
Woodside Bible Church has eight locations in the metro-Detroit area with over 7,000 in attendance, meeting at separate locations they term "campuses." Romeo's senior pastor is Doug Schmidt and Steve Zarilli is the interim campus pastor. Zarilli says they will take what Stone Ridge did and expand.
"The church has been here for quite some time, so we are really re-introducing the community to the church," said Zarilli, who studied at the Moody Theological Seminary.
He also says that the pastor of Stone Ridge is now on board with them.
"Pastor Bob Ryan was the former pastor here and he is still on staff at Woodside Bible, helping us out in a few different roles. His family still attends here," he said.
Both churches originated from longstanding Christian churches.
"There is no real difference in the beliefs of the two churches (Stone Ridge and Woodside), both are non-denominational and both are evangelical," explained Zarilli, who has worked at Woodside Bible Church for over 10 years," he said.
They have already been reaching out to the Romeo community.
"We are starting to get involved in the chamber here, one thing we will continue to do is a ministry called `Kidstuff,'" he said.
This popular children's program reaches hundreds of kids each year. They transform the church<inside and out<into a play center.
"It's a lot of fun for them," said Zarilli, talking about the things he's planning. "We also plan to have a chili cook-off for the community. We'll continue to do these types of events and we hope to get involved with this year's 175th Anniversary downtown."
Another focus for the church is young people.
"We want to see what we can do to assist students and families in general," he said.
The church has a music group with several young people who have performed at the high school graduations in the past.
Comparing the Romeo campus to the other Woodside locations, Zarilli explained how the different churches operate.
"The Detroit campus is involved with homeless shelters and all types of different ministries down there," he said. "In Warren, we've got a thrift store and we do a lot of community events. In Troy, we host chamber events through local businesses, we do children's outreach and partner with the community in any way we can, including prayer support."
He said this church already has a relationship with the Samaritan House.
"So when there are special needs that arise, we'd like to be able to step in and help out," he said. "Our ministry philosophy is to mobilize the people that attend our church to get out and help their neighbors. We want to build a stronger community, helping businesses grow and helping families grow."
Woodside Bible Church offers Sunday services at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m., and Wednesday evening programs are geared for elementary, middle school and high school students. In addition, a study group for adults meets at 6:30 p.m on Wednesdays. To find out more about the new Woodside Bible Church Romeo campus visit www.woodsidebible.org or call (586) 752-3905.