Above: Earth is beign moved for the foundation of the Father’s House’s new church. – Photo courtesy of the Father’s House
by Stephen Dafoe
Eight months after St. Albert real estate developer Landrex Inc. gifted the Father’s House with the former King of Kings Lutheran Church building at the north end of St. Albert, the Morinville church is one step closer to calling it home.
The 10,500 square foot building will be cut into four pieces and moved to the Father’s House’s land in Sturgeon County, west of Morinville.
Father’s House Pastor Greg Fraser told Morinville News last February that the church was looking at approximately $6 million to build their proposed church. Being gifted one by Landrex would allow them to complete the project for about $2.6 million.
Although the congregation had hoped to move the building down the highway this past summer, regulations, and costs would have made the project too expensive.
“Part of the journey has been figuring out how to get it down Highway 2,” Fraser said. “It was hoop after hoop, regulation after regulation to the point where [we asked ourselves] can we even move this building down this highway? Even the cost of dropping power lines was in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
With incredible expenses to allow the move, the church began to be concerned with losing the savings the gifted church provided.
But then the mover suggested something no one had thought of – moving the massive building through Sturgeon County across farmers’ fields.
“We’ve approached the farmers all along the highway, and every one of them has given us permission,” Fraser said, adding they are now just waiting for the ground to freeze before being able to move the entire building to the foundation currently being built on their land. “Every one of the farmers is enthusiastically supporting us, including the University of Alberta – we have to go across their land.”
Fraser said the building mover had moved buildings across farmland for 40 kilometres in the past, so the 18 kilometres from St. Albert to the church’s land should be no problem.
The pastor said the sanctuary would be extended by 75 feet at that the overall size of the building, when completed, will be nearly doubled. The new facility will house the church, Christian school, and administrative offices, parts of the whole that now take up three locations in Morinville.
“It’s an exciting time for our church family,” he said. “It’s been a long journey for many of them. We’ve been at this for ten years.”
Fraser praised Building Committee head Jim Sandmaier and his team for the countless hours of work to make the church’s dream a reality.
“I’m thankful that I’m called on very infrequently just to give thought or prayer or something that’s going on,” he said. “The team is managing this amazingly.”
Fraser and his congregations is hoping to have the building on the foundation and closed in by the end of December. When the church opens, the King of Kings congregation will be invited to a celebration.