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This Central Coast church is expanding with 2 new permanent SLO County locations

Grace Central Coast is undertaking an ambitious expansion that will establish two permanent church campuses at both ends of San Luis Obispo County, with aspirations for a third new location in the works as well.

First stop: Arroyo Grande.

Five Cities

The ministry, which began as GraceSLO at 1350 Osos St. in San Luis Obispo, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new Grace5Cities campus in Arroyo Grande on June 7.

Grace5Cities has held services at temporary locations around the Five Cities area for more than three years, Grace5Cities campus pastor Ben Collins told The Tribune via email on Tuesday, but church leaders recently decided it was time for a more permanent South County campus.

“We’ve learned a lot over these last 3½ years as we’ve existed as a mobile campus, setting up and tearing down our worship center and classrooms each Sunday, but the biggest lessons have been twofold,” Collins wrote. “One: It’s a wild and wonderful ride that’s totally worth it. And two: We can’t wait to see how a permanent campus will accelerate our ministry and investment in the 5 Cities community.”

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Grace5Cities has started work on a new campus building at 995 E. Grand Avenue in Arroyo Grande. The group held a groundbreaking ceremony at the new building June 7, 2019. Laura Dickinson ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

The campus, located in a former furniture store at 995 East Grand Ave., will feature a 5,000-square-foot worship center and low-cost event venue, as well as a kid classroom with activity spaces and a meeting room for adult and youth classes or other community events.

The new building will also have a community coffee shop at the front, open to the public seven days a week, Collins wrote. He added that church administration is “nearing the end of negotiations with a tenant” for the coffee shop.

The property “provides Grace5Cities the opportunity to mirror the kind of impact that our GraceSLO campus has had in San Luis Obispo,” Collins wrote, because of its central location in town, ease of access and “ample space to create incredible, multi-use facilities that can serve both our specific ministry and community needs.”

“It’s a dream location for us as we seek to be a church campus both in the community and for the community,” he added.

The campus is currently under construction, and is expected to be completed by this fall

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Plans for the new Grace5Cities campus include a coffee shop and a 5,000-square-foot worship center. Laura Dickinson ldickinson@thetribunenews.com

North County

Meanwhile, the church has been implementing its multi-campus strategy to “’grow and go’ with the Gospel on the Central Coast by becoming ‘one church meeting on multiple campuses,’” according to its website.

To that goal, church leaders decided to acquire and merge with the Berean Bible Fellowship of Atascadero this year to open its new GraceNorthCounty campus.

The new campus, located at 9325 El Bordo Ave., is currently in a soft-launch period before its official launch on Sept. 8.

“We’re humbled, thankful, and thrilled at the prospect of having three permanent campuses across SLO County by the fall of 2019,” Collins wrote.

Grace Central Coast is also working toward opening a GraceNorthCoast campus, serving the Los Osos, Morro Bay, Cayucos and Cambria areas, though that is still in the planning stages.

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Kaytlyn Leslie writes about business and development for The San Luis Obispo Tribune. Hailing from Nipomo, she also covers city governments and happenings in the South County region, including Arroyo Grande, Pismo Beach and Grover Beach. She joined The Tribune in 2013 after graduating from Cal Poly with her journalism degree.
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