Church attracts attention on Evans Road
Members of the south campus of Trinity Lutheran Church and Family Care Center had a little bit more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.
The church, which was once a plain brick building, now looks a little more "church-like," with the addition of a steeple completed early last week.
J.D. Cain, chairman of the building project, said the groundbreaking for the church was last summer. Church members, who had been attending service at Glenwood Ridge Elementary and the Reno Chapel in Tonganoxie, had their own building by July. Cain said a steeple, as well as several other projects, were in the original building plan.
"When we came up with our budget, the architect had been planning a steeple," he said. "But we didn't have enough money."
An anonymous donation of $10,000 from a church member, who specified that the money be used for a steeple, allowed the church to add the structure.
The building architect recommended Campbellsville Industries, based in Kentucky, to supply the steeple. While the original cost of the structure was $11,000 to $12,000, Cain said the company cut the price to match the donation.
"It's really amazing," he said. "It's kind of like a miracle the way it worked out. It was one of those things that was totally unexpected."
Rev. Jim Jobst, of Trinity Lutheran South Campus did some Internet research to figure out what design would suit the congregation.
The steeple chosen is made out of aluminum and has a steel frame. It stands 25 feet tall and features a 3-foot cross on top, as well as a cross on each of the four sides. The structure also lights up at night.
"We were really looking for something that would stand out and represent our church," Jobst said. "It really distinguishes the message of the gospel."
Campbellsville Industries brought the steeple by truck from Oklahoma Tuesday, Nov. 21, and Kaaz Construction donated their services, including a crane and a man basket to help with the installation. The process took a little longer because of windy conditions.
Steve Kaaz, president of Kaaz Construction, called in some extra workers to help stabilize the structure as it was anchored to the church.
Cain said the newly installed steeple seems to be catching people's attention.
"We've had a lot of people say they didn't really know it was a church," he said. "With Christmas coming, we wanted to make sure we had the building identified. People say that is seems to finish off the building and it is a blessing that we have a complete facility to service the area."
The steeple is also helping to promote the Trinity Family Learning Center, sponsored by the church. The childcare center currently has 35 children enrolled and hopes to provide care to 86 children during the coming year.
"It identifies it as a church as well as a Christian childcare facility," TFLC director, Chris Yankee said about the new addition. "We're very excited about it being completed."
While the congregation is thankful for the addition to the church, Jobst said his focus remains on the people of the church.
"Most of all the significance is not so much the steeple, but the people at Trinity," he said. "I'm really thankful to be a pastor of a church with so many people that reach out and become friends with anybody who comes to the church."