MATTOON -- A new church, @ the Well Church of the Nazarene, plans to hold a community party on Saturday at Lytle Park as it prepares to officially launch its church services in October.

The new church is opening its doors in a renovated church building at 23rd Street and Champaign Avenue. Community members may have seen the new church's co-pastors, David and Barb Perkins, and other volunteers around town in the last few months passing out water in the Bagelfest parade or passing out free balloon animals at the Cross County Mall.

David Perkins said he and his wife, who are Southern Ohio natives, moved from their church in Rantoul to Mattoon a little more than a year ago to begin the ground work for the new church. Since that time, they have added to their staff at the church. Pastor David Sorenson and his wife, Lisa, moved to town during the summer.

To celebrate the launch of church services, @ the Well Church plans to hold a “Party at the Park" at noon Saturday at Lytle Park. Perkins said the party will offer food, inflatables, games, and prizes. He said the party is open to the community.

"We want the community to know that we are here," Perkins said. "We have a passion to be part of the community."

Perkins said The Well is opening in a former Nazarene church building at 23rd and Champaign that has been unoccupied for about three years. He said they have installed a new roof on the building and renovated the interior. He said this work has included giving the sanctuary a "face lift" with a fresh coat of paint, a new floor surface, new seating, and a new sound system.

Visitors to the church are greeted by the sight of well-shaped decorations and a section of floor at the entryway that is coated by pennies to reflect the name of @ the Well Church. The church services there feature contemporary Christian music with a praise band.

“We just want people to understand how much Jesus loves them. We want people to come as they are and allow God to change their lives,” Perkins said.

Services are being held at 10 a.m. every Sunday at the church. The official launch service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 8. Prayer gatherings will be held there at 7 p.m. every Thursday. More information about @ the Well Church of the Nazarene s available by calling Pastor Barb Perkins at 217-751-2344, or Pastor David Sorenson at 618-967-2112 or email at