Leaders of Dana Point church say divine intervention paved way for expansion

DANA POINT – South Shores Church has grown closer as it launches a 10-year plan to grow larger.

The two-campus church, located on six acres just off Crown Valley Parkway near Pacific Coast Highway, is undergoing a renovation and expansion that will double the size of the church property, which has a 360-degree view of the Pacific Ocean and Saddleback Mountain.

The chapel that was the church’s main place for worship from 1968 to 1995 already has come down and stained glass pieces were given to congregants as keepsakes.

“This was a big deal in our history,” said pastor Tyler Guy, who recently retired from the Air Force Reserves as a chaplain. “There were a lot of memories there. There were marriages, baptisms and funerals.”

Earlier this month, the 900-member Baptist-based congregation moved to its sister campus at Capistrano Valley Christian School.

The school chapel there is nothing like the South Shores Church sanctuary in Dana Point, but church members say the sacrifice of temporarily vacating their longtime home is worth it.

South Shores Church merged with Hope Harbor Church on the property of Capistrano Valley Christian School in 2013. The merger came as South Shores was in the midst of working with the city of Dana Point on a plan to renovate and expand the Dana Point campus, a project that has been in the works for 12 years.

“Being a Christian, we see God’s hand in this,” said G.G. Kohlhagen, a church member and project manager for the Dana Point expansion. “When Hope Harbor approached us to come alongside us and embrace our leadership, it wasn’t just Dana Point South Shores or San Juan Capistrano South Shores, we became one church. What we saw was God’s provision to provide us an opportunity. In lieu of staying in Dana Point, here we were given the opportunity to move and allow contractors to work on the campus undisturbed.”

Congregants will spend the next 97 Sundays in the San Juan Capistrano location, until the…

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