Croteau, his wife and more than a dozen members of the church, including many teenagers, were in Haverhill on Saturday handing out fliers announcing the changes in Sunday services at the high school. They walked through the downtown and along Route 125, dropping into businesses, asking permission to post fliers and handing them out at various shopping plazas.
“We’re going out again this Saturday as well,” Croteau said, noting that his church is looking to develop a good relationship with businesses in the community, as well as with residents.
Croteau attributes the growth to his church’s high-energy approach, including live music, along with sermons that are relevant to church members’ lives.
“We make our sermons understandable as to what our members can do to grow in their relationship with their wives, with their children, with God and with others,” he said. “People leave encouraged that they can do it.”
The church has about 1,100 members in all. Services are also held at the Showcase Cinema in Lawrence and the Apple Tree Cinema in Londonderry.
“We’ve had a great relationship with the school,” Croteau said about Haverhill High. “Principal Beth Kitsos has been very accommodating to us.”
Kitsos says Granite United has been a “good tenant.”
“They have a large following every Sunday,” Kitsos said. “I’m amazed at the number of people who attend.”
Scully said the church pays $350 per Sunday to rent the high school auditorium. He said the high school clears about half that amount after factoring in the cost of heat and electricity. He said the revenue supports the school’s maintenance program and miscellaneous expenses.
Beginning March 2, Sunday services at Haverhill High will be held at 10 and 11:30 a.m., in place of the single service at 11 a.m. that the church has been offering.