Humble beginnings… South Long Lake Church
Among others from our congregation at South Long Lake Presbyterian Church (SLLPC), Rhonda Pickar and I had been really missing our church since it burned down in Nov 2010.
After the fire our church had met for services at the Long Lake Town Hall for a time before the Presbyterian Church had the the SLLPC dissolved in 2011 and after that most of us floated around from church to church while others just stopped going at all . We lost our building but we still had our people and luckily no one was hurt in the fire.
A couple items that survived the fire is our Wrought Iron Advent candle stand and the bell you see mounted in the back of the old Chevy-I know it looks odd but I have a cool story about that.
Ever since we lost the church we have been praying about it and after praying for courage we had even talked with a land owner near the old site about purchasing his land if ever it was for sale and ideas had been floating around about what we could do- It had been on our minds and hearts to get a Church going again one day.
In the springtime of 2012 Rhonda got a strong feeling to move on this- she called me saying she wanted to start church services up at the Long Lake town Hall again. Tim Holtz, her brother felt the same way she said – and I will admit my reaction was less than enthusiastic- I was inwardly groaning because I knew it was going to take a lot of effort and work- I can be pretty lazy.
That same night I woke up about 2 am and I sat up in bed with this vision in my head- from the Holy Spirit I am certain. I saw the Old 51 Chevy pick-up that we didn’t even have yet- with the Church bell mounted in the back, and I am telling you, I got excited, really excited!
Sitting up in bed that night I drew a picture of the truck with the bell in the back and at this point I hadn’t even seen a picture of this Pickup yet. Craig was buying it from his Uncle and was going to be bringing it home from his Dad’s home place out in western MN in a few days -we had no idea we would be using it to transport the bell to church every Sunday! So when I shared this with others they were all excited and when the truck arrived a few days later they went right to work bringing the bell out of Pickar’s barn where it had been stored for the last couple years and mounting it in the back of the truck. It was awesome!
We started calling the previous members of SLLPC to see if any were interested in starting back up as a Non Denominational Church and we got more folks involved. One important matter was we didn’t have a Pastor.
A little of my background of lining up speakers and bands at New Song Music Ministries on Sunday nites under the leadership of Pastor Bob Evans from Communitas Church , did came in handy and thanks to Bob for the encouragement he gave when I asked him for his advice as to how to begin a new church- we owe a lot to him for that!
So I called all the Pastors I knew and some speakers were referred to me as well that became regular speakers for us. A couple of us agreed to pay the Guest Pastors or speakers and one paid the rent at the Town Hall and we took turns bringing the refreshments. So that’s how we began holding services at the Long Lake Town Hall.
For our very first Service on July ist 2012 was with our Pastor Dwight Johnson who was retired, he agreed to come and bring the message. It was an amazing morning! A lot of tears of joy fell during our first service July 1, 2012, especially when we rang the bell.
I was watching traffic pass by the town hall that Sunday and that bell truck was really turning heads! God can do surprising things even in these days and I love His sense of humor!!
More stories to come of how we came to be at our new location at 13152 Smart road!!
– Fay Holtz
Six years ago, Fay Holtz called me and stated that some of the people from the “old” church (South Long Lake Presbyterian Church that was destroyed by fire) were meeting in the Town Hall and wanted to start a new church. She asked me if I would fill the pulpit the next Sunday and do special music. I told her I would give my testimonial of an alcoholic who turned his life over to God.
From that Sunday on, my wife and I and our three children attend.
After about three months we had an organizational meeting and elected offers. We have no paid positions, everyone pitches in with their God given talents. We do not have a full-time minister; we do however have about a dozen ministers and speakers who fill the pulpit for our non-denotational church.
For consistency two elders from the board take turns filling the lector work (everything except preaching) and serving communion on the first Sunday of every month.
We are a musical church; we use the Hymnal, we sing all the verses, we have special music with the many talented people we have in our church family.
On Sunday morning when you came through the door people warmly welcome you. We laugh together, we cry together, we pray together, and we care together.
You are welcome here.
Ron Brusven, chairman of the board
This are two pictures from the first church at the original site around 1915