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Church enjoys some elbow room

Pastor Curt Thomassen of Cornerstone Assemblies of God Church in New Richmond sits in the new multi-purpose room that is part of the building expansion recently completed by the local congregation.

Cornerstone Assembly of God Church has expanded its building to better meet the needs of its congregation.

The local church, pastored by Curt Thomassen, moved into its larger and renovated space about two months ago and members are settling in.

Thomassen said the 2,300-square-foot addition includes better fellowship space, two new offices, a large multi-purpose room, a new expanded nursery facility and storage. Two new restrooms also are part of the addition.

"It is really nice," Thomassen said of the finished expansion. "It's not as big as some church buildings are, but it serves us well."

In its previous smaller facility, Thomassen said church members often had to put up and take down tables and chairs for meetings, Sunday school classes and other events.

The church's Bible quiz teams also had a challenging time finding space apart from others so they could practice.

Now, with a dedicated classroom, the space can be left as is for any upcoming gathering, Thomassen said. There are also extra spots where Wednesday night Bible studies, classes, meetings and practices can be held without disrupting someone else.

Also, with a nursery room away from the main sanctuary, noisy toddlers and crying babies can no longer disrupt services on Sunday.

In recent weeks, congregation members helped to landscape the outside of the expanded church building, Thomassen said. If it ever stops raining this summer, the plan is to lay down grass seed on the remaining exposed soil to stabilize the property.

The expansion project had been discussed for about four years, according to Thomassen. About $100,000 was raised during a three-year capital campaign, so the church needed only a small mortgage to complete the expansion.

"We did what we could afford, so it wouldn't sink us," he said.

In other church news, Thomassen reported that its Bible quiz team placed 15th in the nation in a recent competition. Members of the team competed against 80 others on the way to their strong finish.

"It's kind of neat," he said. "Some kids and parents worked really hard to accomplish that."

Jeff Holmquist
Jeff Holmquist has been managing editor of the New Richmond News since 2004. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and business administration from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. He has previously worked as editor in Wadena, Minn.; Detroit Lakes, Minn.; Hutchinson, Minn.; and Bloomington, Minn. He also was previously owner of the Osceola Sun, Stillwater Courier and Scandia Messenger along with his wife. Together they previously founded and published The Old Times newspaper for antiques and collectibles collectors; and Up!, a Christian magazine of hope and encouragement.
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