The SOMA Gathering at the Well
Located at the corner of 6th Avenue and 14th Street sits a brick building with bright red doors and large stained glass windows. The building is called The Well, and it is the home of The SOMA Gathering, a place for worship, community, and hope.
The Well wasn’t always home for the church body at SOMA. SOMA began as a church plant of First Presbyterian Church in Beaver, and before it acquired its current location, met in the basement level of the Berkshire Banquet facility.
In summer 2015, First Christian Church reached out to the team at SOMA with a unique opportunity. First Christian Church had been meeting for weekly worship at The Well in downtown Beaver Falls for 130 years, but their time had run its course and their ministry was dying out. However, they desired that the future residents of their building continue their missional vision to minister to the community they were situated in.
SOMA was the perfect match.
First Christian Church freely gave the building to SOMA in December 2015, and by the following April, SOMA was holding its first worship service there.
Before moving in, the people at SOMA wanted to restructure the building to better fit their purposes for the space. The sanctuary had a sloped floor with pews, so the team at SOMA built a level floor on top of it. They removed the pews and replaced them with tables, chairs, and couches to be arranged around the room for an alternative worship setup. The pieces that remain from the building’s original model include an ornamental pipe organ façade and beautiful stained glass windows that frame the space.
Since their mission for the building is that it first and foremost be a community space to bless the city, The Well hosts a variety of different gatherings in addition to weekly worship on Sunday mornings. There is an open house time twice a week, on Wednesday mornings and Friday early afternoons, during which the space provides a warm place to sit and fellowship or do work. They also offer free Wi-Fi, as well as coffee from Beez Café or Beaver Falls Coffee and Tea.
On Wednesday evenings at 6:30 PM, they host a men’s group gathering. On Thursday evenings there is a woman’s dance group, and on Sunday evenings the church hosts a college gathering time.
The building accommodates gatherings for organizations such as Jobs for Life, Young Life, and Standing in the Gap, and even provides opportunities for the funeral home next door to use their basement space. Additionally, a local Christian counselor holds appointments in one of their office spaces and they provide scholarship support there as well.
When asked what one of the biggest challenges was in the process of moving into the new building, Pastor Marc De Jeu replied that they had to fight, “the temptation to fixate on [their] building as being only for the purpose of the church.”
They named the building “The Well” in order to help it maintain its identity as a community gathering place.
In the future, SOMA wants The Well to continue to be a safe and open space for community members to convene as well as be an integral part in fostering the well-being of Beaver Falls.
To learn more about SOMA and the opportunities at The Well, visit www.thesomagathering.org or visit for Sunday morning worship at 11:15.