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Triumph West hosts open house at new location

Triumph West is located at 3745 Sheyenne St. in West Fargo. Carrie Snyder/The Pioneer.1 / 2
This multipurpose room inside Trumph West is used for worship and fellowship. Carrie Snyder/The Pioneer.2 / 2

Triumph West will be hosting a special open house at their brand new worship center at 3745 Sheyenne St., West Fargo, across from Eagle Run, on Saturday, Jan. 16, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

Everyone is encouraged to be a guest at the event which will include tours of the facility, as well as a great dessert, hot coffee and a variety of door prizes.

Activity on Sunday, Jan. 17, will include Sunday School at 9:15 p.m., followed by a Community Worship Service at 10:30 a.m.

Triumph West is a second campus of Triumph Lutheran Brethren Church, Moorhead, located at 2901 20th St. S.

Vern Baardson serves as lead pastor at Triumph West; Jeff Seaver is senior pastor; and Kirk Militzer is youth and family pastor, with all three pastors rotating and interacting at both locations.

Tami Crist, Triumph church office secretary in Moorhead who resides in West Fargo and is a parishioner at Triumph West, has been involved with the project since the beginning, serving as a 'go-between' in coordinating the efforts.

The West Fargo congregation first held their worship services at the Multiband building in Fargo, outgrowing that space before moving to the Crystal Ballroom at the Ramada Plaza Suites. Services were held there for two years before the congregation relocated to the new Triumph West campus, on which construction began in the spring of 2009, with the first worship taking place in the new facility on Dec. 13.

"We kind of roamed for three or four years," Crist said, adding the new facility was well worth the wait.

The 13,000 square foot church features a laminated wood structure, accented by wooden arches, beams and decking. Upon entering, visitors are greeted by a large welcoming foyer that features a coffee counter, an office and work room and a nursery off the reception area. The space also includes a very large kitchen and a huge multipurpose room that Crist describes as "an amazingly gorgeous room" with its beautiful wood ceilings. This space serves as the main sanctuary for worship services and will be used for other activities, including sporting events, with lines on the floor for volleyball, basketball and tennis, and open gyms, as well as educational classes, with portable chairs accessible, depending upon usage. Crist said the plans focused on setting up the space so it could be used for classrooms and Sunday School relying on dividers, making it a multifunctional building that could be added onto as growth dictated, with future aspirations set on a separate sanctuary and an educational wing.

Crist said the newly realized worship facility is the direct effort of a passel of dedicated people involved with the planning and actual work process. "There were a lot of hands that went into this, all the wonderful volunteers and everybody else who helped in any way."

Steve Gehrtz, of Gehrtz Construction Services, served as building committee chairman, overseeing the construction management progress and direction of the project.

Local contractor Loren Crist, also served on the building committee, coordinating the volunteer effort that included Crist completing and donating a considerable amount of time on the finish carpentry work. Zerr Berg, of Fargo, were architects for the project.

Volunteers will also be coordinating the remaining landscaping as weather allows, with John Richards overseeing that phase of the project.

Gehrtz said overall the goal was "to design a building that could be used for all sorts of activities but primarily still had to function as a pleasant worship area with the proper acoustics in place." The end result was a multipurpose room that could be used for both worship services and athletic events, with basketball, volleyball, and tennis capabilities inside the room. He reiterated Crist's comments that the building was also designed with future expansion in mind.

Gehrtz said one of the "unique" aspects of the church is the narthex area adjoining the multipurpose room, which he described as having "a nice airy feeling" with a 16-foot wide door that can be opened to make it feel like one large worship area. The space is used to complement the worship service, for gathering and fellowship time afterwards, as well as for overflow.

Gehrtz said the average attendance for Triumph West is about 250, with the combined campuses about a 1,000 person average.

It goes without saying that the congregation is pleased to have the stability of their own church complex. "We've had a lot of really positive comments," Gehrtz said. "The first service, one of the members who had been going to Triumph for 30-plus years, walked through the church and what she saw brought tears to her eyes, because the arches reminded her of the original church at Triumph. That is one of those 'God' things that happened without any planning in the way we brought it together. When you hear stories like that, that really is the rewarding part of the whole project. We are so happy to be part of the West Fargo community and we just look forward to having an impact in the long-term future of the community. We are really excited about that."

Pastor Baardson shared similar sentiments stating "Triumph West is so grateful to be a part of West Fargo." As an added point of interest, Baardson also serves as chaplain for the West Fargo Police Department.