Each Sunday, Soma Waxahachie serves up a gospel message to its congregation. Now, as a way to expand its connection to the community, Soma will be serving coffee to downtown visitors daily in its new coffee shop at 101 S. College St.

Pastor Josh Elsom said the church has been looking for a new place to meet for the past six months due to the growth it has experienced. For the past year and a half, Soma has been meeting at the Straight from Philly restaurant.

“While it would be easier to find places outside of downtown, we really desired to stay where we were,” he said. “The old Cabinet Specialists showroom became available and we took possession of the keys April 1. We have spent the last two and a half months getting it ready. It looks like June 16 will be our opening Sunday.”

In 2010, Elsom left his career as an airplane mechanic with aerospace company Blue Origin to begin training for ministry at Redeemer Seminary in Dallas. In 2015, he was hired by Community Life Church to pastor and subsequently see the church through a period of revitalization. The church reemerged as Soma Waxahachie in October 2016. 

Elsom said the new location will be more than just a home for the church, it will become a community gathering place for everyone to enjoy. The storefront portion of the building, which is about 600 square feet, will house the coffee shop that will offer several coffees for people to enjoy. The coffee shop is slated to open Thursday, July 4.

“If you have ever been to Café Brazil that is kind of the idea,” he said. “There are a number of them in up in Dallas and are a Brazilian fusion. They have about 20-30 selections. We won’t have that many, maybe two or three. 

“It is going to be name your own price,” he said. “We are going to have suggested prices so that people can make an educated decision.” 

Among the reasons the church chose to open up a coffee shop is because it wants to work with the revitalization in downtown. The church’s auditorium space will be available for rental throughout the week as well for events, meetings, birthdays and wedding receptions. The rental will come with full use of the facility’s audio-visual equipment. 

By opening up the building to the public, Elsom hopes it can become a source of revenue toward fixed expenses so other funds can be freed up to help in service to the community. 

Everyone is welcome to attend the church when it opens its doors for its first Sunday service June 16. Services start at 10:10 a.m., he said.

“We are a comfortable and friendly church,” he said. “I would say that 90 percent of churches are doing church in a way that they are attracting about 60 percent of the populations. So, all of these churches are competing in market share of people who already love Jesus and like church. 

“We do have people that have left other churches and now are a part of ours who are mature Christians and have come a long way with Jesus,” he said. “Then we have another 50 percent of them that are brand new to the church or trying to kick the tires with Christianity with us. So, it is a pretty eclectic group that is with us.”

For more information about the church, go to its website at www.somawaxahachie.com.

Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect a July 4 opening for the coffee shop.

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