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February 27. 2013 11:07PM

Next Level Church to be pumping out discounts in Epping Saturday


Next Level Church pastors Josh Gagnon, right, and Daniel King will be selling discounted gas at the Sunoco XTra Mart on Route 125 in Epping on Saturday morning. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

EPPING -- Next Level Church has made a name for itself in the past four years hosting events to benefit the community, most notably, a helicopter Easter egg drop that draws hundreds to Hampton each year.

Now the church expects to help drivers fill up their gas tanks for $2.99 a gallon on Saturday.

Next Level - which will launch its fourth location March 10 at the newly opened O'Neil Cinemas on Route 125 - chose the Sunoco Xtra Mart Gas Station in Epping based on the station's proximity to both the highway and the cinema - the theater is just south of the Route 101 interchange; the gas station just north. The church has already paid the station the anticipated price difference for 2,500 gallons of regular unleaded gas.

"From the time we began a little over four years ago, we said people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," lead pastor Josh Gagnon said.

Gagnon said church leaders brainstormed ways they could help people around Epping, and decided to help offset expenses families might be encountering.

Unleaded gas at the station was priced at $3.73 on Wednesday evening.

Starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday, it will be $2.99 until all 2,500 gallons are sold.

Gagnon said they expect to fill about 220 gas tanks at the lowered price.

"We can't relieve the pressure for everyone, but it doesn't mean we can't do it for some," Gagnon said.

He said there is no catch. Next Level Church will have volunteers on hand, but they will not be forcing their message on anyone.

"We believe we're here to give, but the problem with that is ... people see the church wanting something," Gagnon said. "We are not ashamed to say Next Level is putting on this event and we hope to see people at Next Level, but we are not going to be directing traffic over. There are no hidden secrets."

Epping police will be on hand to help with traffic flow.

Next Level Church began 4 1/2 years ago and now meets in four locations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

They are also constructing a new facility in Somersworth.

Each church gathering features a live band, environments for children and a casual atmosphere that has attracted over 2,000 members.

For more information on Next Level Church, visit www.nlc.tv.

gmacalaster@newstote.com


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