March 17. 2013 10:17PM

New Londonderry church construction ahead of schedule

Union Leader Correspondent

LONDONDERRY - Tucked into a quiet hillside overlooking a grove of apple trees, Londonderry's newest house of worship is quickly emerging into the landscape, its white steeple pointing to the heavens.

On Friday morning, around 60 members of the Orchard Christian Fellowship stood on the sidewalk, watching in silence as construction crews hoisted the church steeple onto the building's roof. Construction on the 5,800-square-foot church, which is located next door to the town's Historic Society complex on Pillsbury Road, began in early December.

Pastor Ken Glazier said the goal is for the 325-member congregation to move into its new home by July 1, though with the project coming along way ahead of schedule, that day might come somewhat sooner.

Project manager Steve Miron of Northpoint Construction in Hudson said that despite the snowy winter, things are coming along quite well. Miron said the 25-member construction crew has made significant progress.

Glazier said his congregation, which currently holds its Sunday worship services and Christian education programs at Matthew Thornton Elementary School, continues to grow.

On a recent Sunday, parishioners entered the new building with Sharpie markers in hand, leaving heartfelt personal messages and their favorite Bible verses on the building's interior walls.

"We're beyond excited to finally have a permanent place to call home," Glazier said.

Parishioner Lee Carvill, who serves on the church building committee, said the finished facility would seat up to 300 people and also feature a lobby area, an office and a nursery.

Orchard Christian Fellowship was formed in 2008, after a group of parishioners split from the nearby Londonderry Presbyterian Church to form its own congregation.

Updates on the construction process will be posted regularly on the church's Facebook page, The Orchard.