Most groundbreakings for buildings and other facilities try to add a festive atmosphere to an otherwise routine ceremony. Leave it to “church folk” to turn a groundbreaking ceremony into a festival of music, song and worship.

Monday’s groundbreaking for a new church and community center for Mt. Vernon Church at 2600 W. Jackson was such a time.

Parishioners of the 800-member church, currently located at 3555 W. Huron, along with Pastor John L. Miller, braved 90-plus degree weather to break ground for the community center, the first phase of the $15 million project. Construction of the church is scheduled to begin late 2007, said Pastor Miller.

The 40,000-square-foot center will house after- and before-school programs and a day care center, among other services. The 1,200-seat sanctuary will include a banquet center in the basement. Pastors and representatives from other churches as well as elected officials were also in attendance Monday.