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Congregation Rejoices at Easter Sunday Grand Opening of Church's Permanent Home

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JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. -

Members of a local church had even more to celebrate on Easter Sunday: a permanent home.

Hundreds of churchgoers had been following pastors Crystal and Will Hampton of Two Rivers Church since their arrival in Binghamton five years ago. Some even helped to build up and break down the makeshift church every weekend when the Hamptons got started in the local Regal Cinema in Binghamton, N.Y.

From the movie theater, Two Rivers then moved to the local Boys and Girls club, where they found support from the community. In today's grand opening of their permanent location, Pastor Will sees a parallel in the congregation's experience with the Easter Sunday holiday, the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Christian faith. 

"Easter is all about the resurrection of Jesus. It’s this idea of taking dead things and bringing them to life again. This building flooded out a couple of different times and the church that was meeting here wasn’t able to meet here anymore. Coming back with Two Rivers is a 'double celebration' of resurrection. Jesus rose from the dead, now this facility has been redeemed.” - Pastor Will Hampton, Two Rivers Church

The facility doesn't look like your typical church. Services are held in a darkened room with blue ambient lighting and spotlights on singers on stage. A large screen above the stage and TVs around the room display lyrics for all to follow. Between religious songs, the pastors jump onto the stage and share their messages of understanding and perseverance. The darkened room makes the experience feel private like the pastors are speaking directly to you, despite about 150 people filling the room.

“We want to be a church for people that don’t like church, I hate boring church. I can’t imagine that anybody wants to be bored in church, so we make sure that when you come you’re not going to be bored. We make sure that the messages are relevant and that it matters to you.”

The crowd was a diverse one with people of all races and ages present. Some were setting foot onto Two Rivers Church for the first time.

"My son invited me to come, he’s been coming every Sunday, he really loves it and he thought I may enjoy it too,” said Kevin's mother.

Two Rivers' shiny new home is in a completely renovated old church on Chrisfield Avenue in Johnson City. It has a cafe in lower level and several classrooms divided by age group for children to learn about the religion. Many of those attending services volunteered to help out coordinating the grand opening.

“Today is so exciting, it almost feels like Christmas morning today! It’s so fun and exciting to be here and to see all the renovation and the people enjoying it.” - Crystal Hampton

It may not be Christmas morning, but to the two rivers church congregation, Easter Sunday is the next best thing.