Oct. 9, 2006

Expansion continues for Mount Olive

By Cullen Schultz
Staff Writer

Mount Olive Lutheran Church has a long history in Delano, dating back to 1928, and they are about to start a new chapter by building a new church.

Rev. Paul Margroff, the pastor at Mt. Olive, moved to Delano with his family in 2000. Margroff, originally from California, went to seminary in Watertown, Wis., and worked in South Dakota for 16 years before coming to Delano.

“I love the midwest” Rev. Margroff said.

His wife, Meg, works as the kindergarten teacher at Mt. Olive Lutheran School. The school is for pre-k to eighth grade with an enrollment of approximately 85 students. Students are not required to be affiliated with Mt. Olive parish to attend the school.

“We’ve seen steady increase in enrollment in the last five years,” Rev. Margroff said.

Construction on the new church began in July, and is expected be finished in March. The location of the project is connected to the school, a few hundred yards away from where the church is currently located. The architecture and construction is being done by the Vanman Company, who specializes in church building.

There are many reasons for building a new church for the parish. Upkeep on the old church was becoming a problem, with brick and foundation work needed.

Also the building was not providing what the parish needed, room. The current church doesn’t have enough room to hold bible classes, socialize, and isn’t as handicap accessible as they would like.

“There wasn’t anywhere to talk.” Rev. Margroff said.

Members of the parish will enjoy many new features in the church. The new sanctuary will be able to seat 400, and the fellowship hall will have a capacity for a 100 people. The fellowship hall will host suppers and bible classes along with other activities. There will also be two new classrooms, a library lounge, kitchen, and a new parking lot.

“Its exciting to show members of the community this congregation is moving forward,” Rev. Margroff said.

The church will retain some of its history, including the organ and the three historic, beautiful windows that has been a staple of the church.

Before the church could be built, they had to decide what to do with the two houses that stood where the new church is being constructed. The building committee, consisting of members from the church, decided to demolish one of the houses, and move the parsonage, the pastor’s residents to a new location.

“It is exciting to see members of our congregation come together.” Pastor Margroff said.

In order for them to move the house, they had to cut the house in half, taking the top level of the house and demolished the remaining portion.

When the construction is completed, the parsonage is going to be relocated at the site of the old church, which is planning to be torn down. The pastor and his family are currently renting a house in Delano, until the construction is complete.

The construction project is being funded by pledges, fundraising, and loans. They hired The James Consultants to help them plan the funding.

The congregation organized a pledging campaign, which is a three year payment plan where a member gives an amount they want to donate and make payments to match that amount. Payment plans vary, paying monthly, yearly, or in a lump slum. They are currently finishing up their second year of pledging, and when finished are planning on starting another.

The Mt. Olive Lutheran School students are doing a coin collection for a fundraiser. They have currently surpassed their goal of $1,000 by collecting $1,206 so far.

“Another way we are helping to pay for this.” Meg Margroff said.

Pastor Margroff welcomes everyone to come and check out the construction and a service. For more information, call (763) 972-2442.

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