You are invited to know Jesus Christ and to make
Him known with us at Concordia.
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, with 2.5 million baptized members, ranks as the second largest Lutheran church body in North America and the 11th largest denomination in the USA.
Several times throughout Concordia Lutheran Church's 50 year history, the congregation has expressed the desire to have the entire building accessible to every visitor and member attending activities at Concordia.
That dream is now a reality and we would like to extend an invitation for the public to come to the dedication of the CARE Addition on Sunday, October 25 at the 10:15 A.M. worship service. Rev. Dr. Thomas Ahlersmeyer, President of Concordia University at Ann Arbor, Michigan will be the guest preacher. There will be a congregation potluck after the service and dedication.
The original building design required the use of stairs to get up into the sanctuary, down to the basement/fellowship hall and even to reach the restrooms. We had many ideas, but could never get the right plan.
Then in 2004, we committed to upgrading the building to be fully accessible to the handicapped. A building access committee was formed and met with an architectural firm. The committee consisted of Arnold [Arnie] Grack, Chairperson; Jim Beachler, the bid coordinator and Nancy Kovacs, the committee secretary. As plans started to develop, the committee was expanded to include Randy Burge, as treasurer; Mary Davis and Mary Domke, as co-volunteer coordinators and Vickie Doak, as the communications coordinator.
Photos showing the different stages of planning and construction were added to the congregation web site (www.concordiafindlay.com) to allow past members of Concordia a chance to see a long sought dream finally becoming a reality.
Once we had basic plans, we needed to see if there was enough funding. A building finance committee consisting of Brian and Vickie Doak; Rev. Joseph and Shirley Fabry; Roger and Mary Domke; Dan Kovacs and Bob and Rhea Wiechman got to work. Vickie set up a goal chart in the narthex to help us visualize how we were progressing towards our goal.
Excavation started in May 14, 2006. By then, almost $90,000 had been given toward the project's estimated cost of $475,000. While we had enough funds to proceed, the budget was going to be very tight. So, the congregation requested help from the Laborers for Christ. They are a dedicated group of workers from the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod. This group worked faithfully with local volunteers for four months in the summer of 2006.
Labors for Christ arrived June 19, 2006. Members of this group came from different parts of the country. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Kotz, from Swaledale, IA; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Litterere from Indianapolis, In; Mr. and Mrs. Bob Helberg, Jr, from Perry, FL and Mr. and Mrs. Art Lange from Napoleon, OH. They arrived with trailers and lived on site during those early months of the project. Ed Kotz served as our project manager/foreman.
The steeple and cross was raised on Oct. 13 and 14, in two stages. The weather had grown cold by the time the cross was installed by Ed Kotz and Bob Helberg.
On Oct. 15, 2006 the Concordia congregation held a potluck lunch for our departing friends, the Laborers for Christ. Many skills and stories had been swapped during the long hours of labor. With their patience and guidance, we had learned new skills and were well on the road to seeing our dream become a reality.
A year later, on June 17th, we found ourselves saying goodbye to Arnie and his family. After many hours working and learning together, a job change moved them back to Wisconsin.
Randy Berge took over as chairman with Mark Foellinger as project manager. Work also took Randy away from the Findlay area and Bob and Rhea Wiechman stepped up to serve as co chair people and saw the project through to the final inspections.
The project was also served by an aesthetics committee, who chose the furniture, paint and other finishing touches. Members included Heidi Beaschler, Andrea Frobel and Mary Kay Mohr.
Over 7,000 volunteer hours were logged on the project since May, 2006. In addition to the many hours of building, a huge number of hours were spent in support of the project. Such as running errands, preparing and serving meals to hungry workers and communication to the congregation so that everyone knew what was being done and what would be tackled next.
Concordia Lutheran Church has gained a new covered entrance, pastor and secretary offices, larger restrooms and a lovely enlarged narthex upstairs. Downstairs features a new nurserywith restroom and an additional classroom and restroom. A new elevator connects the main floor with the downstairs, making the church a handicapped accessible building after all these years.
Photo album of the Care project plans
Photo album of the ground breaking and start of the building
Photo album of the walls going up
Photo album of plaster walls
Photo album of the inside of the building
Photo album of the outside of the building
Photo album of the projects in Nov. 07
Photo album of April, 2008 work
Photo album of Project close to done
Photo album of New wing ready