The new Immanuel Lutheran Church begins to take shape at Bloomfield Road and Highway 120. (Photo by Annette Newcomb)

The new Immanuel Lutheran Church begins to take shape at Bloomfield Road and Highway 120. (Photo by Annette Newcomb)

Immanuel Lutheran will double worship space with new facility

By Vicky Wedig

Editor

The construction of Immanuel Lutheran Church’s new home is under way at Bloomfield Road and the Highway 120 bypass.

“We’ve outgrown this space with our congregation so we needed more room,” said the Rev. Mark Moller-Gunderson, who is pastor of the church along with his wife, MaryAnn Moller-Gunderson.

The new church at 700 Bloomfield Road will replace the church’s facility at 1229 Park Row and will boast a sanctuary that seats 400 people compared with the 180-person capacity of its existing worship space.

Moller-Gunderson said the parish is excited to have the space to house its own members and welcome others who haven’t yet found a church home.

Plans for a new church began five or six years ago with a land search and fund drive to pay for the parcel, Moller-Gunderson said.

“We searched for just the right property and found it,” he said.

The “right property” is 11 ½ acres on Bloomfield Road within walking distance of Lake Geneva’s middle and high school and visible for visitors.

Moller-Gunderson said the church is excited about the site’s proximity to the schools to foster its mission of service to young people and the ability to create a platform for ministry to people who are not members of the church.

“When you’re as full as we are, it becomes harder to fit everything in here,” he said.

Community groups such as Boy Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, Weight Watchers and A Day in Time memory loss group use the church’s space, and it’s new fellowship wing will have more space for those functions.

“We’re eager to have the space used to serve the community,” he said.

The church also has been sharing its space with Anchor Covenant Church, which will purchase the existing church building from Immanuel Lutheran and have its own space. Moller-Gunderson said Covenant has been meeting in people’s homes, the YMCA, Badger High School and Immanuel Lutheran for 10 years. Buying the old church will give Covenant Church its own space to begin its ministry without needing to build and will help Immanuel Lutheran offset the cost of its new construction.

“It becomes a blessing for them as well as a blessing for us,” he said.

The church has paid for the site but will continue with a second fund drive to finance the building.

“Our members have made great sacrificial gifts,” Moller-Gunderson said. “Right now we’re very excited to see the new building going up.”

Keller Inc., of Kaukauna, broke ground on the new facility in May. Plans are to finish the building in early December and move into the new church early next year.

Moller-Gunderson said moving the congregation in the midst of the Christmas season would be difficult, so the church plans to ring in the new year with its new building.

The church went with metal construction because of the expanse of the facility and it’s more affordable, he said. On Monday, crews installed insulation that goes underneath the roof decking. Completion of the roof will finish the exterior of the worship space, and then crews will begin work on the fellowship wing, Moller-Gunderson said. Once that is roofed, the building will be enclosed, and crews can begin working on the interior when the weather turns colder.

 
 

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