CRYSTAL, Minn. (KMSP) - From the sprawling sanctuary to the kids’ wing, Cornerstone Church is settling in to its new home in Crystal, Minnesota. The 70-year-old institution rolled a strike when it came to finding the perfect location.
"I just love that people came here to bowl and hang out and be together,” said Cornerstone Worship Director Kim Beck. “We hope people come here and continue to do that. That's why we're here today."
Cornerstone got the ball rolling last year when it bought Doyle's Bowling and Lounge after selling its home at the time - an old elementary school - to Beacon Academy. The church gutted the 30,000 square foot space and spared no expense transforming the longtime bowling alley into a house of worship.
"The youth wanted to keep a lane right here or they wanted it in the youth room,” said Beck. “We tried, but the timeline of it and the amount of time it took to take everything apart when you are doing a project like that, to try to keep something, sometimes is harder than to just take it out."
But Cornerstone was able to keep some pieces of the past from going into the gutter. It salvaged the wood from some of the lanes to make signs, a coffee bar and tables scattered throughout the building. A sign that used to hang outside the bowling alley now sits in the church office.
"We did not want to let go of the history of this space,” said Beck. “We wanted to honor the family that ran Doyle's for a really long time and to just let people know a fun and creative part of our story."
By incorporating some of Doyle's bowling history, Cornerstone's new home is in a league of its own.
"There's a beauty in us being able to take something and to renew it, transform it, and keep it an active part of the community," she said.