New church awe-inspiring
The new Risen Savior Lutheran Church in Basehor, which is now open and nearly complete, is truly awe-inspiring, according to the many congregants who got a look at the church over the weekend.
“No one has come in and said that our place looks nice … but, rather, most comments are they’re in awe of the architectural beauty and the distinctions and the features that were included from the stone to the woodwork to the building’s layout and functionality,” Robert Weinkauf, who is pastor of the church, said. “It’s a joy and a blessing to the people to be given such a distinguished and wonderful blessed place of worship.”
Weinkauf said about 400 people attended weekend celebrations that included a dedication ceremony and reception Saturday, and Sunday’s worship service — the first one to be staged in the new church, outside of a Christmas Eve service that took place Dec. 24, 2011.
“Well I would just say the worship and the meals and the weather and the festivities of the (weekend) were beyond our expectations,” Weinkauf said.
The church’s open doors have been a long time coming. Discussions to build a new church that would serve as a place of worship for St. Martin Lutheran Church in Basehor and Emmaus Lutheran Church in Bonner Springs began as far back as 2007. Emmaus sold its land in 2008 to make way for the Bonner Springs Pointe Development area, and the two churches merged to form Risen Savior. While waiting for their new church to come to fruition, Risen Savior congregants conducted their worship services in the St. Martin building.
Construction finally kicked off on the new church in the summer of 2010, with the project complete enough for members to begin moving in by December 2011.
The new church, which is located on 20 acres of land at 14700 Leavenworth Road, measures about 25,000 square feet and can seat 300 people. The layout includes stone floors, a balcony, gathering hall and several offices and classrooms. A 4-foot hand-carved crucifix from Germany hangs in the sanctuary. Outside elements include a 12-foot crucifix above the front entrance and an 85-foot steeple topped with a traditional rooster.
The design of the church, Weinkauf said, is reminiscent of churches built centuries ago, and that traditional design would only serve to enhance the worship taking place inside.
“I would say that our building architecture is a matter of theology that reinforces what we believe and teach,” he said.
Still, there are a few finishing touches left, Weinkauf said. The installation of a 1,200 pipe organ in the balcony will begin later this month, and throughout the year 14 stained glass windows will be installed, as well as additional wood carvings and sacred art. Future expansions will also include an outdoor courtyard and more parking space — on Saturday the parking lot was so full, several visitors to the dedication service had to park in the grass alongside it.
Weinkauf said the building and land offered “plenty of room for expansion for generations to come to enjoy the blessings of the facility and location.”
Worship services at Risen Savior will continue with the next services at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday. Future events include a parents night out and Sunday school game night Feb. 10, as well as a dedication of the new pipe organ, scheduled for Feb. 19. For more information, contact the church at 913-724-2900.