Leadership and members of Faith Lutheran Church in Orange City, Iowa, took the Apostle Paul’s writings in Ephesians 3:20-21 to heart: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
In 2011, several years prior to any firm building plans, the congregation invited Carole White, Lutheran Church Extension Fund District Vice President – Iowa Districts East and West, to present demographic information. Faith sought to learn more about their community and its needs. “[The demographic study] was an important first step, as I recall, to determine if going into debt for a building project—and to what extent we did both—were feasible or desirable,” said Faith’s pastor, Rev. David Daumer. “In other words, how much do we want to add on/dream big, and how much do we want to spend so that our dream doesn't turn into a nightmare?” Pastor Daumer formed a creative acrostic with “Let us Courageously Explore our Future… LCEF.”
The demographics report forecast continued growth for the Orange City area. “I recall the fact that there was growth projected in a rural Iowa community was welcomed by the congregation,” said White. “They had hope for the future.” By 2016, the city had a population greater than 6,000.
The anticipated growth was encouraging for members of Faith; they prayerfully decided to move ahead with plans to expand. They identified needs for an updated and larger fellowship space and kitchen for not only internal use but to also provide a new community gathering spot for activities and a fresher, more inviting appearance throughout the structure.
“Several initial ‘in-house’ designs were developed and presented to our church leadership by one of our members who runs a construction business and who, ultimately, did the contracting work on our project,” said Daumer. “This got the ball rolling and helped shape and answer questions regarding design, function and the purpose of any additions. We primarily wanted more space for fellowship activities, including a new kitchen or kitchen improvements, and to have multi-purpose space for future growth needs—sometimes it's hard to see or imagine what we can do or will do in the future with additional building space.”
Immeasurably More Campaign
For this 400-member congregation, it was evident that a capital campaign was necessary for the project to be financially feasible. “The congregation, again, utilized the expertise of LCEF to assist with the fund-raising process,” said Daumer. “The [Immeasurably More] campaign was appropriately named, ‘The Next Step of Faith.’” LCEF’s Rev. Bob Riggert served as Faith’s campaign consultant.
Faith’s Campaign Director Kevin Rueter said, “The decision to partner with LCEF was a blessing for the congregation as spiritual growth remained at the center of the campaign.” Under the guidance of Pastor Riggert and the leadership of Pastor Daumer, Rueter believes the congregation was successful in helping members grow in their journey as stewards and disciples.