Mount Zion Lutheran breaks ground for ministry additionMount Zion Lutheran Church broke ground Wednesday evening, Aug. 3, for an addition to the church that will eventually provide 12,000 square feet of ministry space.
By: Randy Hanson, Hudson Star-Observer
Mount Zion Lutheran Church broke ground Wednesday evening, Aug. 3, for an addition to the church that will eventually provide 12,000 square feet of ministry space.
The first phase of the project, at a cost of a little less than $1.2 million, will involve demolishing the existing two-level addition where church offices, restrooms, a fellowship hall and the kitchen were located.
In its place, a 2,000-square-foot narthex with a roof as high as the sanctuary’s will be built. Next to it, a 4,000-square-foot ministry addition will be used to replace the offices, restrooms, fellowship hall and kitchen that were in the old addition.
The 6,000-square-foot basement will remain unfinished for now, but in the future will provide room for Sunday school rooms and other facilities.
The groundbreaking took place in an outdoor service on the site of the future addition.
Choir director and building committee member Craig Gustafson led the singing. Church council president Jim Johnson gave the welcome, and building committee chairperson Karen McConville gave the keynote address.
McConville, a lifelong member of Mount Zion, recalled how her maternal grandfather, John Peterson, had served on the building committee for the church at 505 13th St. So. that was built in 1968.
Peterson was a Swedish immigrant and found a home in the church established in 1895 by earlier Swedish immigrants.
The congregation’s first church building was located at 1024 Fourth St. It is now occupied by Cornerstone Church.
First known as Zion Lutheran, the church changed its name to Mount Zion when it moved to the top of the hill.
“I think the old Swedes would be very proud of what Mount Zion has become and what we are doing 116 years later,” McConville said.
Its members now include people from an array of ethnic heritages.
The building committee members read the scripture for a “Laying the Foundation” ceremony that involved church council members digging up ground for bricks laid in the shape of a cross by Pastor Brian Ferguson and the builders and architects involved in the project.
The new space was designed by Mike Diems of Archnet USA, Stillwater, Minn. The general contractor is Derrick Companies of New Richmond.
The Mission Investment Fund of the Lutheran Church in America is providing the financing.
Demolition of the old ministry space is scheduled to begin Aug. 15.
The congregation will be meeting at E.P. Rock Elementary School on the other side of 13th Street while the demolition and construction is under way. The first service in the school is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 14.
The new facility is expected to be completed in January 2012.
Pastor Ferguson said the congregation made a conscious decision to stay in the 13th Street neighborhood and serve that community.
“Staying in town like this, there’s a limit,” he said in an interview the following morning. “We can’t grow to be the biggest church in Hudson because we’re kind of maxed out for space. But it’s a great neighborhood and a great location, and we’re intentional about staying here and being in the middle of the community.”