At 175 years old, Zoar United Church of Christ in New Hanover is still growing.
The church broke ground Sunday on new building that will be about 25 feet from the entry of the church, located at 9103 D Road.
“It’ll be our new Christian eduction building and fellowship hall,” said Clem Ruemker, president of the church’s consistory.
The new facility will cost about $900,000.
It will be 92 feet long and 66 feet wide, with a total of 6,072 square feet.
The building will have a large auditorium that will seat 228 people, a nursery, three Sunday school classrooms, a large kitchen, a pastor’s office and restrooms.
The church raised the money for the down payment through offerings and took out a loan for the remainder of the cost from First National Bank of Waterloo.
Ruemker said the 140-person congregation felt it needed to build the structure.
“We felt it was just our mission,” he said. “It just felt like we were being called to do it.”
In addition to a spiritual calling, there was a practical reason for the new structure.
“We’re updating because we currently have one, but it’s just not handicap accessible,” Ruemker said of the current building. “It’s just not good for people with mobility issues.”
The new building will also be home to special events at the church.
“We’re hoping we’re going to be able to utilize it for small receptions, Ruemker said. “It’s going to be a nice-sized space for our church so we can accommodate the small-sized weddings we have. In the past, we weren’t able to do that because our current building is a split-level type building.”
The current space the church uses for its Sunday school classes and times of fellowship will be used for storage.
Construction on the new building should be complete in six to nine months.
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