Youth groups at Grace of God Lutheran Church often meet in a storage area.
That won’t be the case much longer, as the Oakdale church wraps up a major expansion project.
The expansion, which began in the second week of August, will provide additional classrooms and meeting space, Pastor Jon Marxhausen said.
“We’re really excited to have dedicated space for all these (programs),” he said.
Founded in 2004 as an independent congregation, Grace of God Lutheran Church used to meet at Eagle Valley Golf Course in Woodbury and moved to a business park near Fourth Street and Hayward Avenue in Oakdale in November 2008.
“It’s not the typical place you think of seeing a church,” Marxhausen said.
Many of its members are from Woodbury, he said.
The expanded space will also allow the church to engage in more community-outreach activities, though nothing firm has been planned at this point, Marxhausen said.
“But this space allows us to do things in our community that we weren’t able to do before,” he said.
Better visibility and parking are also benefits of the expansion, Marxhausen said, and the reaction from the church’s 150 parishioners has been positive.
“Everybody who comes in says it’s better than they anticipated,” he said. “It’s exceeded our expectations.”
While the congregation may look at constructing its own building in the future, it has a 10-year lease in place at the 420 Hayward Ave. site, the pastor said Wednesday.
“This is where we’re going to be,” Marxhausen said.
The community is invited to a Sunday, Sept. 8, open house. It starts with a 9 a.m. worship service, and there will be free lunch and activities for kids.
Until then, Grace of God Lutheran Church will be enjoying the new space: “Things people do at church—drink coffee and hang out together,” Marxhausen said.
Visit the Grace of God Lutheran Church website for more information.