For the past three years, family and friends of New Hope Community Church have been investing financially to build a future home, and on Sunday, July 13, their dreams became closer to reality.
In front of a large crowd of church members and community members, New Hope Community Church broke ground for its new 17,500-square-foot building to be located 1 mile east of Cambridge, just north off of Vickers Street. Construction will take approximately eight months, with completion scheduled for March 2015.
Since 2004, New Hope has been gathering weekly at Cambridge-Isanti High School.
“I would like to welcome you all to the future home of New Hope Community Church,” said Bryce Harcey, church associate pastor, to an excited crowd. “New Hope’s journey began in the late 1990s. In 2004, we began worship in Cambridge-Isanti High School and a couple years later we purchased this land. Many prayers and dreams have been made for this project. With this building, people will see a light of hope in our community and a desire for us to be active in the community.”
The new building, located on 25 acres near Skogman Lake, will house a 450-seat auditorium, kitchen, prayer room, classrooms, toddler and infant rooms, conference rooms, storage spaces, administrative offices and a spacious lobby. Future plans include expanding the auditorium to seat 900 people, a 3-acre community garden, an outdoor amphitheater, walking paths, picnic shelters, campfire pits, sand volleyball courts and a prayer cabin on Skogman Lake.
The total project cost is approximately $3.1 million. More than $1 million has been raised to date. The church is continuing on with its fundraising efforts to raise $2 million during a capital campaign over the next two years.
“With this project, there have been a lot of partnerships, and God’s allowed us to work with Christ followers,” said Bill Berg, lead pastor. “It’s been a blessing to have Station 19 as Christ’s followers, as well as Brian Baas with BJ Baas Builders and Clyde Bloyer with People’s Bank of Commerce.”
Berg mentioned the seed for New Hope was planted in the 1990s.
“Many years ago, in the 1990s, Warren Walburg and I were driving back from a conference in Chicago and we got talking about this vision of having a church on the outskirts of Cambridge that will reach out to the poor, broken, captive and prisoners,” Berg said. “I am enjoying seeing this vision coming to fruition, and as we continue to bow our heads in prayer, we can be thankful for our great blessings. We did as much as we could on this project locally. I would also like to thank my amazing wife, Cherie, for all her support.”
Berg gave credit to First Baptist Church, which helped plant the seed for New Hope and has continued to support it.
“Today, it’s time to build, and as we begin this journey, we need to have continued prayers for the workers,” Berg said. “This church will be a place where we can seek God’s faith, and this will be a place for those to come to know about the Lord, our God. As we worship him, we can continue to be a witness unto others. We are excited about this. I would like to thank you all for your faith, diligence and sacrifice to get us where we are today.”
Harcey gave much credit to Berg and his wife for their vision and leadership.
“A lot of time and resources have been spent on this project, and we thank everyone who has supported this,” Harcey said. “God has called us to have a permanent impact on our community and the community beyond. It will be nice to have a place to call home and to reach out to the community.”
The church is being designed and constructed through partnerships with Nicole LeBarron Thompson with Station 19 Architects, and Brian Baas with BJ Baas Builders. Harcey mentioned both firms have been excellent to work with.
“It’s so wonderful to be here today for this ground-breaking to build an untypical church for typical people,” Thompson said. “We felt your prayers when we were working together to design the building. We can’t believe it was eight months ago that you interviewed us to be a part of this project. It’s a privilege to be here with you all today, and BJ Baas Builders has also been wonderful to work with. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Cambridge community and New Hope Community Church. Thank you to all of you who have helped us on this journey.”
Baas said he appreciates the support of the church.
“Thank you for all your trust and confidence in us and our architects,” Baas said. “You had quite a few members involved on the building committee, but it all went very well. I was really impressed with that group of people. I thank you all for your prayerfulness, thoughtfulness. I’ve been really impressed throughout this entire process. Thank you for your support, and we’re hoping to start on this building tomorrow.”
Harcey said it’s the people that make a church.
“All of us know that a church isn’t a building; it’s the people that God has called together to be a family of brothers and sisters,” Harcey said. “This building is a tool in God’s hands that he has given us to use to bless our church community and the entire community. There’s a lot of details and different decisions that have needed to be made, and Pastor Berg called us to live according to a higher calling. I appreciate Pastor Berg’s example in all of this.”