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‘A long time coming’: Victory Lutheran to hold worship services Sunday in new addition

The Rev. Shawn Bowman, senior pastor at Victory Lutheran Church, stands on the new 1,086-square-foot stage in the sanctuary of the church's new addition. John M. Steiner / The Sun1 / 2
These glulam beams from Alabama make the form of a cross when looking at the ceiling in the sanctuary of Victory Lutheran Church's new addition. John M. Steiner / The Sun2 / 2

Victory Lutheran Church in Jamestown will hold worship services Sunday, May 21, in its new 14,000-square-foot addition.

“It has been a long time coming,” said the Rev. Shawn Bowman, senior pastor at Victory Lutheran.

The new addition is attached to Victory Lutheran’s older building through a hallway that leads to the entrance of the new addition. The addition includes a more modern sanctuary that can seat up to 400 people, offices, a narthex, large stage, conference room, and an education wing that includes a nursery for infants and toddlers and rooms to hold Sunday school.

“We are very excited about the opportunities it is going to present, the new ministry opportunities it is going to allow us to do that we presently don’t have the room for,” said the Rev. Kevin Patch, youth and family pastor at Victory Lutheran.

Had everything gone as planned, the addition was originally expected to be complete by Christmas. Bowman said the construction site had some unsuitable soil to build on, and the material had to be removed and replaced.

Rain in the summer and fall also set back construction, he said.

SOA Construction Services handled the construction of the addition, which began in May 2016.

The cost of the addition is $2.4 million. The project cost was expected to be at $2.2 million in May 2016, but removing and replacing the unsuitable soil brought the cost up to $2.4 million.

Half of the funds were raised before breaking ground on the project, Bowman said. The church got a loan for the other half from a local bank.

All the work of moving everything into the new addition will probably be done by September, and he said a dedication of the church will likely happen in October.

With Victory Lutheran’s facility doubling in size and having a larger sanctuary and stage area, Bowman said the church hopes it can bring in more speakers, musicians and Christian entertainment.

“We as a church want to use this facility to bring God’s good news message in many forms,” he said.

Patch said the new addition will help him in his duty as a youth and family pastor, although that is “really hard to define that right now.” He said the church has grown accustomed to using Teen City in Jamestown on Wednesday night, and once the new facility is completely open Victory Lutheran can hold some events there that can’t be held at Teen City.

“It will be a combination of both, and that will be good,” he said.

Worship services Sunday in the new addition are at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m.

Inside the new addition

The sanctuary includes a 1,086-square-foot stage, a sound system, a sloped floor, wheelchair accessibility and large mahogany glulam beams from Alabama that make the form of a cross when looking at the ceiling.

Bowman said he requested a larger stage so the church can have musicals and plays and invite other guests. Patch said Bowman is known for moving around while he preaches.

“With a bigger stage, I’m feeling I am going to have to move around some,” Patch said.

Instead of using pews, Victory Lutheran will use chairs that have 1 1/2 inches of padding to give patrons more comfort, he said. Chairs allow for more seating than the pews would because people take up extra room with their coats and books. The chairs being on a sloped floor will allow people to see the stage without their view being obstructed by a taller person sitting in front of them.

The narthex includes a two-fold desk where people can get coffee and someone will be present to hand out information to patrons or to show people where to go.

The addition also includes a carport and a room that connects the older building to the new addition, which will include high-top tables and chairs where people can hold gatherings.

Changes to current building

The new addition allows Victory Lutheran staff to make changes to the current building.

The old sanctuary will turn into space for its third-, fourth- and fifth-grade grade classes. A wall in the old sanctuary will be torn out and the room will turn into a fellowship hall, which will be twice the size of the current one.

A new kitchen and wash bay for washing dishes will go in the west part of the narthex. The current fireside room will turn into a storage room for the kitchen.

The current offices of Bowman and the administrative assistant will also be used for storage.

A living room area will go in the northwest corner of old fellowship hall right before going into the entrance to get to the new addition.