Here In This Place
Celebrating 125 Years
125 Years of God’s Faithfulness
In 2016, Saint John celebrates 125 years of ministry and outreach, most of those years having been here in this place, on the corner of 7th and Willow. Through those years, our facility has undergone many changes and renovations: the first sanctuary, adorned with so many beautiful stained glass windows (some of which we still enjoy to this day!), the parsonage, Harrison Hall, the Hering Center, and our current sanctuary built in the mid 1960s – all providing a place to gather and serve for over a century. In looking back at all these changes, each one of them was to meet the ever-changing needs of our congregation and our community, allowing us to be more effective in our mission to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Indeed, one can readily see how facilities facilitate ministry; and, not only that, but how God has been faithful, through these years, accomplishing great things by our ministry here in this place.
As we entered into the 21st century, there came a growing awareness of the need to address long-deferred maintenance issues (electrical, heating and cooling, and the parking lot). Moreover, many aspects of our facility (much of it over 60 years old) were not allowing us to fulfill our mission as effectively as we would want, things such as: accessibility; the lack of a main entrance that is inviting and welcoming to our visitors; the need for a gathering space, accessible and bright rest rooms, spacious class rooms, and offices that are connected and secure. Thus, after much prayer and discernment, discussion and listening, our congregation voted in March 2011 to renovate and upgrade our facility so that we might better serve and carry out our mission. During the 16 months of construction, our entire congregation relocated to 100 Power Drive, in a facility that was once a fitness center. Many things were learned in this “sojourn,” the most important being a deepened sense of our mission to share the good news among ourselves and with our community.
What We Have Accomplished
A New Main Entrance
A “Welcome Center”
Handicap-accessible rest rooms
Renovated Sanctuary with a more functional chancel
A new, enlarged kitchen with professional-grade appliances
The “Faith and Life Center”
5 education / meeting rooms
A new, lighted parking lot
“Holy Grounds” Coffee Bar
The impact of this new construction and renovation has been enormous! As a congregation we are better enabled to welcome visitors. More people, including visitors, are remaining for fellowship and coffee after worship, deepening relationships, helping us to connect with and support one another. The Faith and Life Center allows for larger fellowship gatherings, more youth activities, and a larger meeting space for groups.