Herald Journal, Sept. 20, 2004
Two Howard Lake church buildings up for sale
By Lynda Jensen
Two historic buildings are for sale that served as churches in Howard Lake, a vintage building being used by Blessed Hope, and the old lumberyard used by Good News Church.
The building used by Blessed Hope is probably one of the oldest in Howard Lake, being built in 1875 by the Howard Lake Church of Christ according to the history book 100 Years of the Good Life.
Strong growth from families with youth children, a general lack of parking, and lack of space is causing Blessed Hope to look for lots in the vicinity in order to build new, commented Pastor Derek Forseth.
“On many Sundays, we are at, or very near, capacity,” Forseth said. “The children’s program has need of our full facility (up and down stairs) for Wednesday nights, so we now rent the Methodist church’s basement Wednesdays for the adult prayer meetings.”
Forseth recently went from part-time to full-time status as well.
There is a building fund underway, he said. Once built, the new location may even house a youth center, too, he added.
The church building was built before the invention of the automobile, Forseth said. “It was walk or strap your horse.”
The building has interested buyers, but is not sold yet, he noted.
Interestingly enough, if a buyer purchased the building after July 1 of any given year, the tax-free status associated with churches would follow the building for one year, according to the Wright County Assessor’s Office.
“We are excited about what God is doing in and around Howard Lake, and I am excited about what God is doing in other local churches,” Forseth said.
“Some pastors meet every first and third Tuesday of the month to encourage, pray for and share with each other,” he said. “There are even initiated talks about an inter-church prayer effort for our community and the local bodies taking place on a monthly basis.”
Good News is also looking for a new place to worship upon the sale of the old lumberyard located along Wright County Road 6.
“We’re praying for direction,” congregation member Marion Frank said.
The congregation presently meets as a home fellowship, and is looking at different options for a future facility, commented Pastor Steven Basney of Cokato.