By Janet Bresenham
PORTALES — Modern Christian ministry comes in many forms.
For one Portales church, outreach to the community is brewing in the form of a cup of coffee or tea.
Victory Life Church is celebrating a month-long grand opening of The Coffee House, which features a wide range of coffees, teas, iced drinks and pastries, along with live music and a variety of comfortable seating areas for conversation and relaxation.
“I just like the atmosphere,” said ENMU sophomore Jeff Howard, a pre-med student. “It’s very loving and very accepting. It’s just a fun place to be, where you can talk to people.”
The Coffee House officially opened for business on April 3 at 605 W. 18th St. in the IGA Center next to Beall’s and just up the street from the church’s main sanctuary and facility at 801 W. 18th St.
Already, the facility has become a gathering place for church members and their friends, as well as other community residents, college students and coffee and tea lovers of all ages.
“It’s gone beyond our expectations,” said Victory Life Church Pastor David Markham. “It isn’t limited to any one church or denomination, by any means. We’d encourage and love to have a lot of people use it as a place of fellowship. It’s a fun, relaxing atmosphere. And there are very few places where people can go late in the evening around here, so it’s nice to have this open now.”
Markham, who has been involved with Victory Life Church since September of 2001, said his wife Francie came up with the idea of starting a coffee house in Portales more than a year ago, similar to one she had seen near their previous home in Tulsa, Okla.
“Everyone who comes in to The Coffee House seems to really like it,” Francie Markham said. “They like the peacefulness here.”
The Markhams both said that while The Coffee House maintains a Christian theme and atmosphere, it’s open to everyone.
“It’s a clean environment that’s smoke-free and alcohol-free,” David Markham said. “The entertainment we have will be Christian-oriented.”
Portales native Laci Lee, who attends First Baptist Church, said she has already been to The Coffee House several times since it opened because she enjoys the atmosphere.
Victory Life Church members contributed funding to start The Coffee House as a community outreach and place for fellowship and ministry.
“It’s just been a walk of faith,” David Markham said. “I started looking at this building over a year ago. We were outgrowing our facility, and it just looked like a natural for us to expand along the block. We worked out a lease with the owner and came in and just transformed the place — and now, it’s a beautiful facility.”
Proceeds from the non-profit business go into maintaining The Coffee House and supporting the church’s youth outreach, he said.