BETHALTO - For the leaders at Lifepoint Church, their new location in Bethalto is all about building relationships.

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Located at 820 S. Prairie Street in Bethalto, the church’s expansion to Bethalto has been “great so far,” according to Associate Pastor Billy Yates. They also have a location in Collinsville, and with a growing congregation, they are excited for their new chapter in the Riverbend.

“I can’t say enough about the community. We all fell in love with Bethalto,” said Senior Pastor Eddie Bradley. “It’s like we found a community that really fits well with our style of church. There were a lot of other opportunities, but we feel like this is the one God chose for us, and now it’s becoming evident why. This fits.”

The church offers services at 9 a.m. in Bethalto and 10:30 a.m. in Collinsville. They try to “mirror” the services as much as possible, with the same speakers, music and message at each one. They also have several ministries, including children’s and youth ministries that meet every week.

Though they now have two locations, the community within the church remains the same. Yates and Bradley noted that they try to be “very intentional” about fostering and maintaining relationships within the church.

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“We’re one big family from two locations,” Yates explained. “People use ‘church family’ loosely. We don’t take church family as a loose term. We are family. We do life together…People who are looking for something to belong to, the church isn’t the building. It’s the people. It’s really a family you can belong to.”

And as with any family, honesty is important. Bradley and Yates both stressed the power of being authentic, which helps them build relationships with the Lifepoint family. They said people feel welcomed at their church, like they can come as they are and leave transformed.

“I’ve heard people say it’s the most real place on the planet, and I think that’s just because of the way we carry ourselves,” Yates said. “One thing that really makes Lifepoint special is everyone just comes in and loves one another. Our sign says, ‘Love God, love people.’ At its simplest form, love God first and love people. So it’s very authentic and just a very, very down-to-earth, real relationship. That’s what’s most special to me.”

As Bradley pointed out, this isn’t just a job for the pastors; it’s their lives. They said it can be easy to feel bogged down by obligations and tasks, but coming together every week is a gift they get to experience. They want to help people remember that.

And they have fun with it. Yates coaches football at Collinsville High School and Bradley helps coach baseball at Granite City. This age-old rivalry is a lot of fun for the congregation, and Yates and Bradley often tailgate together before games. They’re eager to engage with the Bethalto community now that they’ve settled into their new location.

“We’re excited to be a part of the community, and it’s not, ‘Come see what we have,’ but ‘Let us be a part of what you have,’” Bradley added. “If you’re looking for a church where you can always find the pastor in his office, reading a book, this isn’t it. We’re going to probably be on a baseball field or on a football field or in the community at an activity helping somebody. This is life for us. This isn’t a social club. This is life. It’s us doing life in here, it’s us doing life out there.”

Bradley and Yates invite you to join them. You can learn more about Lifepoint Church at their official website at Lifepoint365.com or by visiting their Facebook page.

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