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Downtown Akron church building sold after several years on market; Burning Bush Church congregation will relocate to High Street property later this summer.

The plan to raze the High Street Church for a hotel was revealed at a news conference in 2013. Investors had teamed up to bring a 160-room hotel to the site near the John S. Knight convention center. But the project fell apart after investors lost interest. Burning Bush Church believes God saw it fit to keep the High Street Church as is, for them. The old High Street Christian Church in the heart of Downtown Akron-will be reborn again, as a church; the Burning Bush Church.

Burnning Bush a 500+ member congregation hopes to begin services , red-at 131 S. High St. in late summer.

Burning Bush now meets in a former Salvation Army facility at 1104 Johnston St., off South Arlington Street, southeast of downtown. They outgrew their current church in less than 4 years.

Burning Bush paid $500,000 for the church, according to Summit County property tax records. The 50,000+ square-foot building, across the street from Akron City Hall, was built in 1955 and extensively remodeled following a fire in 1977.

In 2006, Kelker’s son, De’Juan, was confirmed as the senior pastor. His wife, Stacey Kelker, is co-pastor. Jocelyn Kelker died in 2007.

At the High Street building, Burning Bush will continue to offer two services — one on Sunday morning and one on Wednesday night, as well as expand their already vivbrant and successful community outreach. The church’s day care center will move from Johnston Street to High Street, where the Burning Bush Church hopes to attract many of the downtown Akron employees with children.

"We’re very excited about our new journey, as we are moving to downtown Akron. The goal is to focus on the community, as well as building lives. Our central placement in the city will definitely heighten our embrace of diversity. As we are a progressive church, we want to help our city and beyond to move forward and be a blessing to all whom we are able to reach. We do not take this opportunity lightly, rolling up our sleeves, and taking yet another step toward doing what we were called to do – effectively affecting the world”. "We want to be known as the "Cities" church", stated, Senior Pastor Dejuan Kelker II.

The Reporter Newspaper
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