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East County Wednesday, Jul. 22, 2009 6 years ago

Lutheran church breaks ground on expansion

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by: Pam McTeer News Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — It’s taken six years, but Living Lord Lutheran Church finally has broken ground on an expansion to its existing building.

Church members and leadership celebrated July 19 with a special ground breaking event for the new 3,500-square-foot expansion, which will provide more space for worship and fellowship.

“It’s been an exciting process,” Pastor Jeff Gross said. “This is the (design) that feels right. The church is the people, and the place where the people come together. It has to be a hospitable place — a place that gives glory to God. This building will serve the people best.”

Instead of building from scratch, church leaders have opted to utilize the existing structure and add to it. Pews will be removed from the existing sanctuary, converting it into a fellowship area. The new sanctuary will be built attached to it, extending northward and adjoining to the existing sanctuary space.

The church’s stained-glass windows will be removed during construction and incorporated into the new worship area.

The design features a joint use of worship and fellowship, which provides an overflow area for guests if the sanctuary becomes too crowded. It also will allow the church to host wedding receptions, funerals or other events as well as more meetings for local charities and organizations.

“We like to be able to serve the community,” Gross said. “We have meetings here almost every night — Alcoholics Anonymous, Boy Scouts, Manasota BUDS. Church isn’t here just to serve itself but the community.”

Gross said the expansion, expected to be finished before Thanksgiving, will not be the church’s last. Eventually, he and others hope to expand and upgrade the church’s kitchen facilities, create more office space, add a gymnasium and expand the youth ministry.

“This (project) really has challenged us to move beyond our comfort zone,” Gross said. “It’s also a realization of how blessed we are.”

The church’s first expansion about six years ago included an education building for Sunday school and the preschool that meets at the church.

Living Lord Lutheran Church is located at 11120 S.R. 70 E.

To view blueprints of the expansion, click here.

Contact Pam McTeer at [email protected].

INFORMATION
As the first church in Lakewood Ranch, Living Lord Lutheran Church has assisted several churches as they started up, including Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, Pastor Jeff Gross said.
 

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