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First Lutheran breaks ground for new church in New Richmond

New Richmond area residents will finally see construction on land 15 years after it was purchased by First Lutheran Church.

The site, just off of Business Highway 64 and County Road K, was the location of an official ground breaking ceremony this past Sunday, July 15. Attending the ceremony were local dignitaries, including Mayor Fred Horne, Pastor Amy Odgren (assistant to the bishop of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin) and First Lutheran Church staff and congregational members.

First Lutheran Church approved a congregational proposal to build the new church in April, and hope to be in the new facility by Easter Sunday of 2013. More than 250 people attended the ceremony at the new location.

"First Lutheran has a long history of being God's hands and feet, and building disciples. Yesterday was a momentous ceremony for our congregation, and it's appropriate that many members shared tears of joy," said Pastor Jim Bump. "It's a blessing to work with our community to build this facility, and our congregation is thrilled to have a facility that will allow us to better serve the New Richmond area."

According to Bump, the new location will also provide greater accessibility, visibility and room for expansion to serve generations of parishioners. The first phase of construction for the 20,166 square foot facility will begin soon and includes licensed childcare space for 100 children. Total cost will be approximately $2.86 million, and is being financed by the ELCA Mission Investment Fund.

Derrick Construction, New Richmond, and Station 19 have been retained for construction and design. In addition, numerous volunteers from the congregation and staff have dedicated hours of time and talent to the relocation process.

First Lutheran Church has a long history in the north side of New Richmond, dating back to the late 1800's. Over recent years, increases in church membership, growth of the accredited child care program and accessibility for members created a need and interest for rebuilding the church.

More information about the relocation and facility plans can be found at

First Lutheran Church (ELCA) was founded in 1945 after a merger of the Norwegian Lutheran Church (est. 1889) and the English Lutheran Church (est. 1891), on the north side of New Richmond. Since its origin, First Lutheran Church has grown from 200 baptized members to more than 2,000.

Bump joined First Lutheran in 2009, and collaborates with a dedicated staff of six employees.