Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Feb. 12, 2001

St. John's Lutheran to dedicate new addition

By Lynda Jensen

One of the oldest churches in the Howard Lake community will celebrate the dedication of its new addition Sunday, Feb. 18.

The dedication will take place at St. John's Lutheran Church, with a program starting at 1 p.m.

The addition - to be called Epiphany Hall - provides an array of classrooms that surround a central gym. Included in the addition are: new Sunday school rooms, a choir room, library, youth rooms and room for Head Start, said Joel Pettit, building committee chairman.

Where the addition stands used to be a two-story building, Pettit said.

The congregation used its own workforce to lower the sanctuary and then new fill in the basement to create the ground level unit.

"God's fingerprints were all over it," Pettit said of the building, from its design and construction to even the bid letting process.

The Lord blessed them with favorable weather during the construction season, Pettit said.

"This building project is the mark of the dedication of the people of St. John's to their ministry in this community," the Rev. Joel Swedberg said.

The church serves 511 members. Activities offered there include youth leagues, two choirs, an Altar Guild, Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, men's fellowship, five Bible study groups and other activities.

When St. John's was initially formed in 1884, it was housed in a one-room building on the east side of town by the old water tower.

In 1949, a structure was built on the west side of town at its current location.

This structure became the building that most Howard Lake residents have seen along Highway 12 for more than a decade.

The original stained glass cross that used to be visible backlit from the highway was removed and is on display in the library. It was made in Germany, Pettit said.

The building committee included: Sue Untiedt, Cindy Heuer, Ruth Ouverson, Bob Foss, Wayne Jorgenson, Kim Jackson, and Joel Pettit.

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