Diner Transformed into Church

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HAZLE TOWNSHIP -- On the outside, this building near Hazleton looks like a diner, but if you step inside, you'll discover it is really a church.

"We have this kind of excitement built of like, 'oh, a restaurant is becoming a church? I thought churches had steeples,'" said Chrissie Hetkowski, LCBC kid ministry director.

The Hollywood Diner closed in 2014 and sat vacant for about three years until the Lives Changed By Christ Church decided to buy the building.

"We love this space. We love the fact that it is just so unique, so fun. We love the location. It's so accessible, so visible," said Brad Travelpiece, LCBC campus pastor.

LCBC bought the church back in March and has been working to renovate it ever since to get it ready for Sunday service.

"Our mission is just to introduce people to Jesus and to gather and follow him and just to say, hey, we want to be a place where people can come and take next steps in their journey," Travelpiece said.

LCBC first started about 30 years ago in the Lancaster area. As it's expanded, it began opening more locations.

"We really just try to create an environment where people can be accepted and welcomed no matter who they are, no matter what they've done. We want them to know they can call this place home," the pastor said.

LCBC Hazleton's pastor says the church is nondenominational and takes a more modern approach using Christian rock music and compelling kids programs to spread their message.

"This area doesn't really have a church like this," Hetkowski said.

"We want to be a resource for Hazleton. We want the entire region of lower Luzerne County to be transformed, to be different because we're here," Travelpiece said.

The church will hold its first services on Sunday at 9:15 a.m. and 11 a.m.


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