BALLSTON SPA – Community Alliance Church celebrated its newfound independence with a musical event Christmas Eve.
Community Alliance Church, a fixture of Ballston Spa for decades, was “nearly dead” in 2013, with a congregation of just 10 to 15 members, said Steve Vandixhorn, senior pastor at Pine Knolls Alliance Church. In September of that year, the remaining congregation voted unanimously for Pine Knolls in South Glens Falls to assume leadership of the church, located at 275 Rowland St. That started three years of outreach to bring in more churchgoers from around the area, including returning members, new members and some of the congregants from Pine Knolls.
Vandixhorn estimates the present congregation at Community Alliance Church ranges from 50 to 65 parishioners. The church also has new elders and a new board of directors, said pastor Gary Newton.
When Pine Knolls stepped in, it did so with the goal of returning leadership to the local congregation within five years. It’s a huge point of celebration to do so in a little over three years, Vandixhorn said.
“It’s not a huge congregation, but it’s a healthier congregation then when we started accepting the leadership,” Vandixhorn said. “This is really part of our dream come true.”