Since January of 2007, the Protestant Reformed believers in Sioux Falls worshiped in rented rooms at the Holiday Inn in the City Center. With thanksgiving to God we note that, during the course of those five years, we were able to hold not only all our regular Sunday worship services but also all the special worship services in one room or another at the Holiday Inn. We found the staff of the hotel to be eager to accommodate all our needs; the rooms and environment to be, for the most part, conducive for worship; and the rent cost to be reasonable. But we were nevertheless reminded weekly that we were renting a space in a hotel. As we walked our children through the hotel to the elevators, we passed the televisions of the bar, people coming out of the swimming pool, and others heading to the restaurant for breakfast. As we left our morning service we competed for elevators with those checking out of the hotel and met others coming for the heavily advertised Sunday Brunch. We pray that our presence and conversations, in addition to the sign and the literature we set out, served as a witness to the higher purpose for which God brought us to the hotel. We are thankful that very few Sundays went by without a visitor in attendance.
Soon after worship services began in Sioux Falls, a Building Fund was set up and collections started in earnest toward the goal of being able to purchase a parsonage and church building, should God so bless us with the goal of organizing into a congregation. As the mission grew under God’s blessings and the Building Fund increased, the Steering Committee, and later the new consistory, continued to keep abreast of real estate developments in Sioux Falls with respect to church buildings. E-mails were sent out to dozens of churches and pastors in town expressing an interest in renting or purchasing a church building and asking them for advice or leads. In August of 2011 one of the pastors who had received the e-mail replied to Rev. Brummel, and this led eventually to the consistory making an offer on a church building in September of 2011. That offer was rejected, and Heritage was informed that the church was not willing to sell.
But in August of 2012 our realtor contacted the consistory to inform them that the church we had been looking at had now taken a decision to sell their building and were soliciting offers. Our consistory secured financing and made the same offer as a year before, which was accepted almost immediately.
From the outset there was concern about the amount of debt that we as a small congregation should take on. Synod 2012 approved our purchase of the parsonage from the denomination, so we were faced with the possibility of purchasing both the parsonage and the church building at the same time. When the consistory solicited pledges from the congregation, the members responded liberally and sacrificially, so that we were able to pay cash for the parsonage and make a down payment of over 55% on the church building. The consistory is thankful to God for His bountiful provision, so that our congregation of fifteen families now faces a loan that is manageable and approximates the amount that we raised over the past four years for our Building Fund.
The brick church building was built in 1962. In addition to the sanctuary, which has a 40-foot high ceiling and seats 250 people on hardwood pews, the original building includes a nice size narthex, three offices, infant and toddler nurseries, and three restrooms. A two-story addition came later, which includes an upstairs fellowship hall, 13 small classrooms, a kitchen, lower level restrooms, and an all-purpose room in the lower level, bringing the complete square footage of the building to 14,100. And, because the congregation from whom we purchased the building had disbanded, we were able to purchase not only the building but all of its contents. This enabled us to move into the building with minimal additional expenses. The church building has been well maintained, needing only a thorough cleaning before it was ready for our congregation to begin worship services in it on Sunday, October 28, 2012.
We stand humbled before God in His gracious provision for our needs. We look back and marvel at His providence in ordering all things to make this building come available for us. We are thankful for the peace and unity in the truth that God has given our congregation, and we pray that He will preserve that truth among us so that we will be able to use this building for faithful ministry and God-glorifying worship until Christ returns.
We invite you to visit us here in Sioux Falls and worship with us in the new building that God has provided. Join us in thanksgiving as we marvel in the wonder of God’s grace, for we do not deserve the blessings He has provided. For Christ’s sake God blesses His people, giving them to know forgiveness of their sins through the blood of the cross. Our prayer is that we may dedicate this building to the service of God and be given the grace to go forward in faith until He takes us to the true, Heavenly Tabernacle—the building not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. May all our glorying be in the Lord! We look forward to a dedication service on November 30th at 7:30 p.m. and an open house that same evening as well as on Saturday, December 1, Lord willing.