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Church votes to build

By Staff | Nov 2, 2009

A Blue Earth church congregation has voted to take a big leap of faith and build a new building.

The congregation of Hope United Methodist Church in Blue Earth voted on Tuesday, Oct. 27, to pass a resolution to construct a new church building.

The vote was 65 percent in favor of the project and to proceed with purchase of land for the new church.

Earlier, the Manske family, formerly associated with the church, had donated five acres of land on the north side of I-90 freeway. The congregation voted to purchase an additional five acres of adjoining land.

The site for the new church is directly east of the KJLY radio station.

“This new building will help us be even more open and inviting to our members and neighbors,” says Rev. Wane Souhrada, pastor at Hope.

The congregation is currently holding services in the former Salem United Methodist Church. It was back on Feb. 4 that the three Blue Earth United Methodist congregations of First, Immanuel and Salem merged to form Hope.

“Our current building is not very energy efficient or handicap friendly,” Souhrada explains as the reason a new church building is needed. “In the new facility we will have a comfortable fellowship area, updated kitchen facilities and several meeting rooms.”

Funding for the new church has been under way for a year, and is part of a three-year drive, Souhrada says.

Already the congregation has raised $1.85 million for the construction of the new church – $1 million in cash and $850,000 in pledges. Souhrada says the total project is expected to cost $2 million.

“We are anticipating groundbreaking to take place in the spring of 2010,” Souhrada says. Some ground work, such as driveway construction, could still be done this fall, weather permitting.

“Hope is actually a new congregation,” Souhrada explains, referring to the fact that it was formed just two and half years ago. “We want to be open to new people and the talents and interests they bring. Our new building will be an expression of that.”

“We are looking forward to a vibrant future,” he added.