Major church expansions planned in Fayetteville

Plans were recently unveiled for two projects that will provide a major expansion of the faith community’s footprint in Fayetteville.

Cross Church has plans for a brand new facility near its current campus on the west side of town, and Rogers-based Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas will soon expand its services into Fayetteville.

Cross Church Fayetteville

Map: Todd Gill, Flyer staff

A recent land purchase helped Cross Church acquire property for a new campus at the southeast corner of Wedington Drive and Interstate 49 in Fayetteville.

The news was detailed by Cross Church senior pastor Ronnie Floyd in a recent video posted by church officials.

Floyd said two Cross Church members bought the land as part of a plan to help the church expand from its overcrowded current Fayetteville location on West Wedington Drive.

Washington County property records indicate a company registered to Travis Ruff, co-founder of Milestone Construction Co., paid $3.15 million for nine acres of land near the I-49 interchange in November. Tyson Foods Inc. president and CEO Donnie Smith is the other partner, according to a recent report in the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal

As a condition of Ruff and Smith’s purchase, property owners James Family Properties LLLP agreed to donate an additional 13 acres of adjoining parcels to Cross Church.

Floyd called the transaction “a miracle” and “a gift from God.”

He said the church has three options for the remaining nine acres owned by Ruff and Smith:

  • Purchase the land within three years for $3.2 million, expanding the new campus footprint to 22 acres.
  • Enter into an agreement with a developer who would buy the land, build a facility, and then lease the building to the church.
  • Do nothing with the land, and develop only the 13 acres donated to the church.

Floyd said regardless of which option is chosen, officials will begin putting together a master plan and will build as soon as possible.

“This is an ideal location,” said Floyd’s son Nick Floyd, who is the pastor at the Fayetteville campus. “Within two minutes of leaving the church property you are at the University of Arkansas, which puts us that much closer to the 25,000 college students who are in need of the gospel.”

Cross Church is the largest church in the state, with five locations in Northwest Arkansas and southwest Missouri, including two campuses in Fayetteville.

Fellowship in Fayetteville

Fellowship Fayetteville rendering / Sept. 21 update

Fellowship Bible Church of Northwest Arkansas will soon have a presence in Fayetteville.

The new Fellowship campus is being built on 26 acres along Arkansas 112 just north of Sam’s Club across the street from the 112 Drive-In. The project includes a 63,400-square-foot church with parking for nearly 800 vehicles, according to site improvement plans submitted to city planners.

The church’s current campus in Rogers has been operating at capacity for several years, which led to the decision to expand south into Fayetteville, according to Mickey Rapier, Fellowship’s directional leader.

“Being at capacity is a great problem to have,” Rapier said in a video posted on the church’s website. “But it is time for us to expand our capacity, broaden our base of ministry and increase our ability to reach more people for Christ in Northwest Arkansas.”

In the video, Rapier said an unnamed family purchased the land for the church, and urged church members to pool the necessary resources to build the facility.

According to Washington County property records, Fellowship Fayetteville LLC paid Legacy National Bank $1.6 million for the land last February.

Lamar Steiger, the church’s resource development director, said in a September video that congregation members had already donated $4.4 million toward the estimated $12.5 million needed to complete the campus. Steiger said another $6 million had been committed over the next few years.