By Kevin Boozer
St. Paul Lutheran Church in Pomaria reopened its renovated facilities on Sunday, January 31. The following week the congregation held a service of dedication presided over by Bishop Yoos. The congregation’s sanctuary and parish building were destroyed by fire in January 2013. Restoration efforts included rotating the church sanctuary, preserving the sanctuary walls as a facade for a steel structure, adding an atrium area and replacing the destroyed three story parish building to a slab on grade single story fellowship hall and education/office space.
“I think in the sanctuary we’ve done a good job retaining its warm, reverent feel,” said Rev. Brent Nichols, pastor at St. Paul.
Nearly 1000 different supporters, from individuals, to churches, to businesses to at least one foundation donated a total of $400,000 to the church’s restoration fund. Congregation members also purchased furnishings, gave donations and held fundraisers for the restoration.
“A number of members donated countless hours of time, energy and effort to see this project through,” Rev. Nichols said. “Now we, as the people of God, need to use the opportunity to rededicate ourselves and our ministries to Christ’s service. This is perhaps a once-in-a-lifetime moment in the life of our church and we are honored to prayerfully and faithfully share it with others.”