Church Is Both '80 Years Old and Brand-New'
Byline: Abby Scalf firstname.lastname@example.org
As Community Church of Round Lake celebrates its 80th anniversary, Pastor Mark Drinnenberg and members are looking back on its history and toward the future.
Their mission is to build up the congregation again as they remind communities of this hidden gem along Goodnow Boulevard.
"I want them to feel like weve been expecting them," Drinnenberg said.
Church members past and present will come together at 12:30 p.m. Sunday to celebrate the milestone anniversary with a potluck meal and displays that showcase the churchs history.
Community Church began as a Sunday school in 1914 when a group of parents under guidance of E.C. Weber held classes in their homes, said Linda Martin, the churchs head of congregational services. The Sunday school raised enough money to buy a parcel and accumulated a building fund of $1,148.
Ground was broken on a church building in early spring 1932. In June, the first service was held, and Round Lake had its first Protestant church. The building was completed at a cost of $7,000. Because it was built during the Great Depression, much labor was donated instead of cash gifts. Improvements came slowly, but there was never a mortgage on the building.
The Rev. John P. Gaardsmoe served as the pastor until September 1938. During this time, the adult choir began. The Community Church Club for women, a mens club and youth group also were organized.
Many members joined Community Church but later branched out to start their own church. When the need for a church in Long Lake was great enough, associate members of Community Church established Trinity Lutheran Church of Long Lake in April 1940. In 1952, some members started Calvary Presbyterian Church.
Martin, who has stayed with the church following a move to Spring Grove, said membership has had its highs and lows. In its beginning, the church was filled with hundreds of kids to attend Sunday school. In recent years, the church has faced a membership decline due to financial troubles.
Drinnenberg, who was brought as pastor last April, said his mission as they rebuild membership is to meet peoples spiritual needs and spread the word of Community Churchs place in the Round Lake community. …