On Sunday, October 9, a special worship service for Fowler Christian Church was held under a tent on 10 acres of farmland on East Street and Lingle Avenue instead of at the church on Madison Avenue.
The service was a celebration and ground breaking for the future home of the Journey Christian Church.
At the service, the church’s Lead Minister Kirk Zimmerman said acquiring land and building a new worship facility will cost around $1.2 million dollars. And through fundraising and a grant, that is now a reality.
Zimmerman said for the future they see a church that is accommodating to everyone, a church without stairs; a church that sits on single level and is suited to modern standards. A church that has room for fellowship in the main foyer area, places that offer opportunities for people to meet together. A church that has a sanctuary that allows them to create environments that focus on worship to God in ways they can’t currently accomplish. A church that has an office area that works for multiple ministry staff and an administrative secretary. A church that provides dedicated space to NextGen ministries for children and youth. A church that makes room behind the stage for baptism changing rooms and storage for events. Provides more convenient parking for worship and a covered drop-off entrance for inclement weather. A church that has a meeting space large enough for large dinners and ministry events. And according to Zimmerman, has enough land to dream about expansion in the future and ways to better serve the community.
Fowler Christian Church purchased 10 acres of vacant farmland in July of 2019.
They branded a ‘Move Me’ campaign which began Sept. 28, 2019, and asked families to make a pledge of what they could give over that three-year period. According to church officials, 105 pledges committed $731,646 to the campaign. As all good plans, the journey was difficult, considering this occurred during Covid. They did not reach the original pledge amount but did raise over $560,000 from members.
The church was also able to transfer over $155,000 from its General Fund to the Move Me Campaign Fund, during the 3-year campaign, so they officially had $715,763 in cash to start building.
During the campaign, (October 2019) they applied for the John C. Lasko Foundation Trust Grant but didn’t get it. They re-applied for the same grant in September 2021 and were awarded $500,000. It is administered by Bank of America as Co-Trustees.
The John C. Lasko Foundation Trust was established to build churches that will last forever and will never deviate or change from God’s mission. Grants from the Lasko Foundation are exclusively for the construction of worship space, defined as the sanctuary portion of the church building, and excluding areas such as the followship hall, classroom, office area, kitchen and baptistery.
Mr. John C. Lasko, founder of the John C. Lasko Foundation Trust, was born Nov. 26, 1920 in Wayne, Michigan. He founded Republic Tool and Die in Belleville, Michigan in 1940. Republic grew to become the largest privately owned tool and die company in North American. Mr. Lasko passed away on February 21, 2011, at the age of 90. Since its establishment, the John C. Lasko Foundation Trust has supported the construction of churches throughout the country. The Foundation will continue on in perpetuity as a legacy to Mr. Lasko.
Fowler Christian Chruch was organized in 1877, it was called the Fowler Disciple Church, and by 1893 its name had changed to Fowler Christian Church.
In 1881 the church building was erected on the site on Madison Avenue where it is currently located.
The new Journey Christian Church is hoped to be completed in 2023.
Lead Minister is Kirk Zimmerman; Worship Minister is Kevin Logsdon; Youth Minister is Nathan Riggle; Administration is Angie Brunton and Elders are Brenton Johnson, Eric Wiley, Bill Foster, Rick Mickle and Mark Geswein.