Mount Cross Lutheran Church has taken a leap of faith and broken ground on a new sanctuary, although it needs about $500,000 to finish the project.
The congregation birthed the idea of building a new sanctuary in 2004.
“The Church talked about moving, remodeling or re-building, but decided we have an aging facility and a growing congregation,” said Linda Grosser, counsel president and soon-to-be project manager for the sanctuary.
In 2008, the church started its first capital campaign that netted $550,000 by 2011. The church has launched a second campaign to bring in the remaining funds to complete the $1 million project that is currently ongoing.
But the congregation was tired of talk and voted to start.
“On Nov. 17, the congregation voted to go forward with the building,” said Glenn Zimbelman, pastor of the church. “They are looking forward to doing something for the community.”
Weather made the membership wait until Sunday, Dec. 15 before a group, including some of the youngest members, gathered to symbolically turn aside shovelfuls of dirt to start the building process.
Zimbelman and Grosser said the new sanctuary will better serve the needs of the congregation with more rooms behind the scenes for families either preparing for weddings or needing a quiet space during a funeral.
The architect the church hired took the requests of the building committee to heart, designing a beautiful building with high country appeal, said Grosser.
“It’s got a campus environment that takes into consideration our senior parishioner needs,” said Zimbelman.
There will be music rooms, a gathering room, an office and a conference room, said Zimbelman and Grosser.
“It will be a more efficient use of space,” said Zimbelman.
“That’s an understatement,” said Grosser.
Currently, the capacity of the existing sanctuary is 125 and it’s bursting at the seems. Grosser said if the congregation were to have a wedding, there is no place for the bride in the current building to have a private space.
The new building will have much more of a presence. Both Grosser and Zimbelman said many people couldn’t find the church as it is hidden amongst the trees.
Yet, an out-of-control semi-truck rammed into the side of the current sanctuary in Nov. of 2004, leaving a gaping gash that took months to repair. Zimbelman and Grosser believe the new location will solve both the visibility and security of the building.
The current office building and a building behind it are slated for removal, but the log building and conference facilities will remain.
“We’re building this church not for the present, but for the future,” said Zimbelman.