“They will soar on wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31) is the theme of Iowa Great Lakes Lutheran School (IGLLS) in Spencer, Iowa. And how these students do soar.
“Years ago I agreed to teach a mid-week class at First English Lutheran Church. During my first hour in the class, I realized that students from IGLLS were different. They knew their Bible, knew their Scriptures and were not afraid to talk about their faith,” said IGLLS Board President Leonard Langner.
Langner witnessed the students being respectful and accountable in their day-to-day interaction. “We’re teaching kids the love of Christ. Plus, 85% of our kids are on the honor rolls as they go into middle school and high school. They’re involved in band and drama, they’re well-rounded students when they leave our school.”
With a curriculum grounded in God’s Word and integrated into every educational opportunity from the classroom to the playground, students learn and practice the basics of the Christian faith. IGLLS began in 1999 and today offers all-day kindergarten through sixth grade. With a feeder preschool of 70-75 children at First English, IGLLS needed room to grow. The school has been housed at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Spencer and has outgrown the space. In October 2013, members of First English Lutheran Church voted to expand the school on their property. In 2005, First English relocated to a 15-acre parcel. The current church and preschool is approximately 21,000 square feet. Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) is blessed to help fund this new school that will more than double the facility’s square footage in order to meet the soaring students’ needs. To God be all glory!
Laborers For Christ project
First English’s relocation in 2005 was an LCEF Laborers For Christ (LFC) project as is IGLLS’ current expansion. In fact, the 2005 LFC Project Manager Willie Eichman returned for this second project 10 years later to construct four large classrooms. The new construction consists of a gym with full-sized stage, classrooms, nurse station, media room with library, offices, locker banks, storage and restrooms. It is a $3 million-plus project.
Opportunities to Support Expanding Christian Education
If you are interested in giving financially to this project, please contact the church office at 712-262-5598 or IGLLS at 712-262-8237. IGLLS is in the process of putting together an endowment fund and a new scholarship fund. The LCEF loan also qualifies for a Shared Blessings Rebate so members may invest in LCEF (not give) and help First English receive significant rebate funds in return each year. Contact LCEF Iowa District West VP Carole White, for more information.
According to Langner, in the fall of 2014, IGLLS started a busing program to reach outside the immediate area. Students are picked up at Spirit Lake and Milford with some students coming from as far as Estherville; a 40-minute drive from the school. “I commend Leonard’s commitment, like so many other members of First English who have given so much in countless ways, to this expansive construction project,” said White. “Leonard has been a First English member since 1959 and in addition to serving as the school board president, he dedicated time, energy and expertise to the capital campaign which raised nearly a third of the necessary building funds.”