Archive for Thursday, November 4, 2004

Methodists looking to expand

November 4, 2004

— The Lansing United Methodist Church is in the early stages of relocating to a larger, more easily accessible facility on West Mary Street.

The church recently purchased 21.5 acres of land on the north side of Mary Street.

Pastor Jim Hopwood said there were two main reasons for the move.

"First, we've basically outgrown our present site," Hopwood said. "It's simply too small and doesn't meet our current needs and is not expandable." The sanctuary now seats about 90 people for services.

Additionally, the present church, at 107 E. Kay St., is what Hopwood described as off the beaten path.

The main building, including the sanctuary, was built in 1892, making it 112 years old and difficult to expand, Hopwood said. He said he hoped the new site would afford greater visibility because of its proximity to Lansing Middle School, the Towne Center developments and anticipated new residential developments.

Stan Hernly, of Lawrence, will be the church's architect.

The church is still in the process of raising funds and making plans, so there are no set dates for when ground will be broken. Hopwood said he wasn't sure how much the total cost would be and added that the land was still "quite raw."

"There's no public utilities - no water, no sewer. Although they're not far away, they haven't been extended yet," Hopwood said. "Right now the plot is mostly inhabited by deer."

The plans for the new church include a fellowship hall, nursery, classrooms, offices, a gymnasium, walking trails and a media center. The new church would seat several hundred and could easily be expanded, Hopwood said.

"We plan to build what we call a community life center," Hopwood said. "We're looking forward to the opportunity to minister to the community."

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