New Beginnings and Trinity Lutheran continue close relationship
REED CITY – Some churches may not take the time to work together. For Trinity Lutheran Church and New Beginnings Fellowship Church in Reed City, this how they thrive.The two congregation's relationship has culminated in New Beginnings officially buying the worship facility it has been renting from the school.
“We’re two different denominations, but we knew where Gordon Tower (pastor at New Beginnings) was going with the ministry,” said Glenn Boprie, vice president of Trinity Lutheran Church and School. “In a way, we’ve treated New Beginnings as our own mission. We know Gordon will be using the building to preach the gospel - that is what is most important to us. We felt comfortable giving him the property. It’s been a great relationship.”
New Beginnings, which held its first service in July of 2010, started out as a small congregation with three families. Funds were tight and New Beginnings rented the facility attached to the Trinity Lutheran School to use for its worship services. Now, New Beginnings owns both the facility and the Trinity Lutheran School, with Trinity looking to build a new school off of U.S. 10.
When Trinity began the process planning to build a new school on the 30 acres of property the church owns, it gave New Beginnings first choice on purchasing the present school. The sale arrangement, which started in November, came to a close in June when New Beginnings signed the papers to own both the building they were formerly renting and the Trinity Lutheran School.
“This is a new start for us,” said Gordon Tower, pastor of New Beginnings. “We are very excited.”
Trinity has until Sept. 1 to vacate the building, but is working with Gordon so New Beginnings can move into a few classrooms over the next few weeks. For the 2014-15 school year, Trinity will hold classes in the church but share the gymnasium space in the fall and winter with New Beginnings for Trinity’s athletic program.
“We appreciate New Beginnings,” Boprie said. “We’re two totally different churches, but we work together so each one of us is successful. “
The church plans on breaking ground on the new school building next year.
“It was time to sell the corner and move on,” Boprie said. “With our growing congregation, we need a bigger facility to reach out to others with. In the old building, we felt land locked.”
There are current plans to use the old Trinity school for New Beginning’s children’s ministry, youth group and adult Bible study classes. New Beginnings also plans to use the gym for fellowship. After the church fully moves into the old Trinity school, there may be about two to three classrooms left over, which Tower said could possibly be used as a nursery.
To say good bye to the building, the staff of Trinity Lutheran School held a closing ceremony and celebration on the last day of school, on Friday, June 6.
“It was a great turn out,” Boprie said. “People came to walk through the school and the church. They took the time to say good bye.”
Both New Beginnings and Trinity plan to continue their close relationship.
“It makes us feel great to know the building will be used for religion,” Boprie said. “The last thing we wanted to do was tear the building down. It was a great day when we signed the papers. We know the church is in good hands.”