Lutheran Church doubles its space

Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church, 3133 F Road, is building an addition for a fellowship hall and Sunday school classrooms.

While many businesses and nonprofit organizations may be downsizing, the Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is defying the economic recession.

Not only is it building, but the church also is nearly doubling its space, adding 5,200 square feet to its 5,400-square-foot facility at 3133 F Road.

The addition includes two classrooms, two bathrooms with showers (for traveling youth groups), a youth meeting room, a kitchen and fellowship hall. The addition is on the south end of the building, which sits on the south side of F Road. Construction started in February and is expected to be completed by the end of July at a cost of $720,000. It is being done by PNCI of Grand Junction, which has done renovation work for St. Mary’s Hospital, School District 51 and Enstrom Candies.

“The important thing in that is we just haven’t been accruing funds,” Pastor Ron Powers said. “We give 10 percent of what we take in to the Senate while still supporting local ministries such as Marillac Clinic, the Resource Center before it was Hilltop and Catholic Outreach. We’ve been involved in the Relay for Life since it started here. It hasn’t been all inward-focused, which is why, I think, this is happening. The more you give, the more you get.”

The original building was built in 1984 when the church started. It was paid off in 2003, Powers said.

“At that time, we started getting a little cramped,” Powers said. “That’s when we started getting serious thinking about (the expansion). It helped having the mortgage paid off.”

The need for the addition was most noticeable during the church’s annual Scandinavian smorgasbord in January. Church members had to remove the pews from the sanctuary and turn it into a makeshift fellowship area to eat, Powers said, adding 400 people usually attend the event.

The fellowship hall will be similar in size to the sanctuary, Powers said, and the play area will be moved from the south end of the building to the east end.

It is also has become difficult for the church to host weddings and funerals, he said, because of a lack of space for receptions.

The church, which has 240 members, has opened its doors to Scout groups, a Spanish-speaking apostolic group and the Seventh-Day Adventists over the years. The apostolic group and Adventists have since relocated.

“We’ve been talking about (building an addition) for about 10 years now,” Powers said. “In retrospect, I would’ve done it different, but you learn by doing it, and it worked out all right.”


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