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Church ‘ventures’ to its own building

When Troy Martin moved with his family from the Bay Area to Encinitas in 2012, he had the goal of opening up his own church. Now, his dream is ready to come to fruition.

Martin, who took up a job as a basketball coach at San Dieguito Academy, founded Venture Church in Encinitas — first in his home, then at the Encinitas Community and Senior Center — shortly after his family’s move to the area. Martin serves as lead pastor.

On April 9, the church will finally open a location of its own at 777 Santa Fe Drive.

“We felt like God was leading us to open our own church,” said Martin, who has worked as a pastor for more than 20 years. “When we were getting ready to decide on Encinitas is when I had applied for the coaching job at the high school. That came right at our decision-making time. We figured this is where we were supposed to be. And now, years later, our church is moving into the building right across the street from the high school. It’s all kind of full circle.”

At first, the church spread by word of mouth and held services in Martin’s living room with about 30 people. But as membership grew, the services were moved to another member’s house, before eventually settling into the community center in September 2013.

“That’s where we really started to grow,” Martin said, adding that the church would meet at the center for two services each Sunday. “We went from 30 or 40 people to 70 or 80.”

In March 2014, the church hosted its grand opening to the community. Up until that point, the church was “growing its core,” the pastor said.

Now, on Sunday mornings, Venture Church averages between 300 and 350 members. The church’s demographic is multi-generational, with an emphasis on families, Martin said.

Youth groups and “kid ministries” are available to children and teens throughout the week.

The church is also planning a trip for 40 people to Mexico in April to build two homes, Martin said.

Venture Church’s first service at its new location will take place at 10 a.m. on April 9. The church is planning future Sunday services for 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., Martin said.

The pastor said he’s excited to share the church with more people in the area through the new building, which holds about 400 people and formerly housed another church.

“It’s been a fun journey,” he said. “Seeing people come to life in their relationship with God and wanting to be authentic is just our whole mission. Our heart of the church is we want to be a blessing to the community here in Encinitas, San Diego and, really, around the world. We just want to be a place where people can be mobilized to serve.”

For more information about the church, visit https://www.venturechurch.tv


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