ANNOUNCEMENT: Bethel will only hold a 10:30 AM worship service at Bethel Fergus Falls today. All Sunday School, confirmation, ministry activities and other worship services are CANCELLED at BOTH CAMPUSES.

"Make Room" Mission Expansion - October Update

Bethel Church, below is the transcript of this video by your congregational chairman Daryl Synstelien. This is a wonderful update on where Bethel has come since the last update and right before a proposal is finalized in preparation for the business meeting on October 27th.
Transcript of the video
Hello Bethel Family! I have an update for you on the Mission and Facility Expansion project for the Fergus Falls Campus, as we move forward in the challenge to Make Room in our lives in order to Make a Difference in the lives of others in Fergus Falls, Battle Lake, and Boudamasa, Chad, Africa. Since the August 11th video update, we have continued to steadily move forward in our process.

Phase One of this vision to Make Room is addressing parking and worship space on the Fergus Falls campus. It  will be proposed for that expansion to happen on Bethel’s current location, with building an addition onto the current facility, and the purchase of the lot west of Bethel, owned by the CLBA.  A working group from Bethel, the CLBA , and Hillcrest met to discuss a path forward for expanded parking for Bethel and a continuing soccer program for Hillcrest. This meeting went very well, and was a discussion characterized by unity of spirit and purpose. I can joyfully report to you that Bethel has the enthusiastic endorsement and support of HLA and the CLBA as we move forward to Make Room on the Bethel Fergus Falls campus.  Bethel will purchase the current soccer field from the CLBA, which will be used for parking expansion. The New Parking area is estimated to be about 370 spaces, versus 156 current spaces.

In this design process, Bethel is providing the design and planning leg-work necessary to inform Hillcrest’s plan to relocate their soccer field to the area west of the Hillcrest Student Activities Center. And Hillcrest representatives have responded to Bethel’s invitation, meeting extensively with Bethel to evaluate the feasibility of using current space in Bethel as a temporary landing place for Hillcrest’s expansion into elementary education over the next couple years.

Regarding the proposed Schematic Design - [Insert Slide] There have been revisions to fine tune the design of the building addition to the current structure. The Building Addition will include a new Sanctuary and an open Gathering Space joining the current structure with the New. The New Sanctuary Addition will have total seating of about 700, compared to Bethel’s current sanctuary total seating of 360.

The Gathering Space will be large, allowing for comfortable fellowship at all times, and ample room for the transition traffic before and after each worship service. Coffee and seating areas, with a warming kitchen for events and social activities will also be included.

Our current building would be modified for more effective use. Our goal is to have two Sunday morning worship services with Sunday school running concurrently for both. We will keep the current sanctuary as a worship space - perhaps designated as the Chapel. There are great benefits in having two worship centers; the current Sanctuary, or Chapel, is ideal for smaller, intimate worship services in a traditional setting, and for weddings and funerals. We would level the floor and add comfortable, flexible seating for versatility, to use as a Fellowship Hall, CLB convention events, etc.. In moving the Fellowship Hall and Banquet functions to the Chapel, we will add to our Kitchen facilities by modifying current Archive Room space as a Serving Kitchen.

Another important Phase Two element is that the current fellowship hall will be modified to Make Room for youth ministries. Youth Ministries desperately need more space - on each Wednesday evening throughout the school year, there are 16-20 Youth Small Groups that are having the gospel poured into their lives through the gifted impact of our Youth Pastor (Big Al), and numerous volunteer lay ministers. A vital modification will include opening up the upper level meeting space to provide more effective ventilation - a wonderful relief from the current sweltering and cramped conditions the youth experience each week now.

This “Preconstruction Phase” of project design with Churches by Daniels is planned to be complete by October 11, with a final Schematic Design and Building Project Budget ready to be voted upon by the congregation. How will Bethel pay for this project? The proposal will be to pay for this project through a “Make Room” Capital Campaign with the assistance of Jon Wright of Generis. The Campaign will commence this fall, through the winter of 2020, with the project beginning in the Spring of 2020. We will be working with a lender to cover any difference between the amount raised by the campaign and total construction cost.

Between October 11 and October 26, there will be multiple Vision and Informational meetings held on different days of the week and at different times of day. Those dates and times will be found in the Sunday Bulletins, and you can review them right now by going to the Bethel website at We want to ensure that everyone in the congregation has ample opportunity to thoroughly review the final schematic design and budget numbers, have questions and concerns addressed, and work to be fully informed and ready to knowledgeably and confidently vote on motions to move forward at a Congregational Business Meeting to be held on October 27th. Also, perhaps you’re new to Bethel, or are just tuning in to this discussion we’ve been having over the past year, and you need to get caught up - go to the Bethel website at, and you can read the printed reports, and view all the prior video updates.

Bethel Family, we are the body of Christ, Jesus is the head. As the body of Christ, the church, we are the hands of Christ as we reach out to our community, and MAKE ROOM in our lives so we can make a difference in the lives of others.
- Daryl Synstelien, Congregational Chairman

Related Posts