PEQUOT LAKES -- In a small, northern Minnesota town of 1,800 stands a church that welcomes hundreds of people every Sunday morning.
Pequot Lakes Baptist Church was founded in 1976, and thanks to tourism in the resort driven area, the church has been on the grow ever since. After an extensive addition in 1999, the church is ready to expand again, this time with the community in mind.
"We were looking for a way to better minister to this community," Pastor Mike Marcum said. "We want to have an impact on the community."
In January 2001, the congregation of Pequot Lakes Baptist Church started thinking of ways to reach out and get involved within the community. Two years later, blueprints for a 21,000 square-foot outreach center were drawn.
The $1.35 million project will include basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts, a running track, classrooms, locker rooms, a stage, a kitchen and a dining room.
"We are providing a vehicle to bring Jesus Christ to the community," said Wayne Anderson, outreach center planning committee team member.
Wayne Anderson (left); Mark Whittemore, senior pastor; Mike Marcum, pastor of evangelism and outreach; and Al Abear discussed plans for the Pequot Lakes Baptist Church Outreach Center. (Dispatch Photos by Heidi Lake)
Anderson said the congregation will play a large role in building the outreach center, cutting the costs of the project as it did in the 1999 addition.
"This congregation has a gorgeous mix of talent," he said.
The Pequot Lakes Baptist Church Outreach Center will be open to the public and will hold activities benefiting all ages, including a day-care center, wedding receptions and dramas. The project is scheduled to be finished in March 2005.
"This is an active community and we want (the outreach center) to be a bridge between God's love and our activity," said Al Abear, church member.
The church currently sits on four acres of land in the Pequot Lakes industrial park. The church recently bought an additional four and one half acres where the outreach center will be built.
So far the church has held one fund-raiser where $545,000, more than one-third of the project's total cost, was raised. The church plans more fund-raisers, and Marcum is confident the rest of the money will be donated.
Plans for the 21,000 square-foot Pequot Lakes Baptist Church Outreach Center include basketball, volleyball and racquetball courts, a jogging track, classrooms and a stage. The existing church building is shown at right.
"It'll come. The Lord's good that way," Marcum said.
Marcum said the outreach center is modeled after the Aitkin Community Center, a place where people build relationships and share Jesus.
To contribute to the Pequot Lakes Baptist Church Outreach Center, call (218) 568-4794.
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