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Horace Lutheran Church breaks ground

Members of Horace Lutheran Church are one step closer to having a new church with room for their growing congregation. After five years of planning, and a major fund drive to secure funding for the project, the congregation marked the realization of their dreams with a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, August 3.

The new church will be built on a site one block north of Horace on County Road 17 at 650 First St. N. Rev. Dave Sorensen expects the construction phase to take about a year, with the church ready for use by August of 2009.

"The people have been dreaming of this for a long time," Sorensen said. "It is a very exciting time for us."

The original church, which was built in the 1880s, with an addition built in the 1950s, has become a landmark in the Horace community, and has served the congregation well over the years. However, space has become an issue.

The old church holds a maximum of 175-200 people at best, and space for Sunday School classes has become inadequate for their growing needs. Structural deterioration and maintenance issues were also a factor in the decision to build a new church.

Bristlin Construction from Detroit Lakes, Minn., will serve as the general contractor. Prairie Design Studio in Horace was hired to design the facility. Church officials foresee that most of the construction will be done by the general contractor and sub-contractors, with volunteers from the church helping with minor finish work like staining, painting and landscaping.

The new facility will be close to 18,000 sq. ft. with total seating for 322. The V-shaped structure will include two wings off the main worship area with room for 13 classrooms, fellowship hall, kitchen, library, and ample storage.

Postcards were sent out to the congregation with an open invitation to anyone interested in participating in the groundbreaking ceremonies to bring their own shovel. Sunday morning began with a worship service at the old church starting at 9 a.m.

The groundbreaking ceremonies followed at the new site at 10:15, with refreshments afterwards. Rev. Bill Rindy, Bishop of the Eastern North Dakota Synod took part in the ceremony.

Approximately 160 people attended the ceremonies under cloudy skies and light rain.

Twenty-two volunteers from Horace Lutheran also took part in what was dubbed "Drywalling for Jesus" on July 30, lending a helping hand in the Casselton Habitat for Homes building project sponsored by Thrivent Build. The four-bedroom home is expected to be completed in a month, with the help of many local churches and organizations throughout the area.