Booming music resonates throughout the auditorium as hundreds of people sing passionately along with the five lead singers on stage, raising their hands toward the heavens.
Lead pastors Dave and Kate Sumrall started ITOWN church when they say God told them to plant a church in the Indianapolis area. So, on Aug. 15, 2010, ITOWN had its first service at Riverside Intermediate School with 340 people attending with the help of the Association of Related Churches.
“Our goal is to help people from where they are to where God wants them to be,” creative pastor Adam Bender said. “So when you come to ITOWN, we don’t have a vision for your life, other than to help you discover why God made you, help you grow in your purpose and grow closer to God.”
FHS serves as the ministry headquarters for ITOWN, and it has many services during Sunday. Usually lasting around an hour, the services are structured so that they start with praise, a message and then end with praise.
“We do everything we can to serve as many people in our community as possible each weekend,” Bender said. “That is why we have multiple campuses, and multiple services at most of our campuses.”
ITOWN has many places where people can come on Sundays to worship. The church has campuses in Bluffington, Castleton and Fishers. Pastor Dave preaches at FHS, and his message is broadcasted onto the multiple campuses, where people watch the service live.
“We bring in everything from the sound system, to parking flags, from kids supplies, to video screens, even kids’ room dividers,” Bender said. “This helps us make church setup and teardown go quickly, and create an excellent environment for our guests each weekend.”
ITOWN got in touch with FHS to use the building, and the school was very welcoming, according to Bender. ITOWN makes sure that there are no inconveniences for both parties and consistency for the churches before using a building.
“We pay a standard rental fee for the building, as well as for the staff that is there while we are using the facility,” office manager Joel Pollock said. “These fees are determined by the Hamilton Southeastern Schools corporation.”
Video by Laney Kyle.
Although there were protests in 2017 when ITOWN tried to buy land from the Gray Eagle Golf Course, the church was not discouraged but continued to work towards getting more campuses.
“We are currently in the process of building a brand new facility at the corner of 136th Street and Brooks School Road, that will become our new ministry headquarters,” Bender said. “This will help us to strengthen our existing campuses in Bluffton, Castleton, and Fishers, as well as launch new campuses.”
So, when the new facility is built, the FHS service will move into it. For now, ITOWN church has service on Sundays at FHS at 8:45 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.