A congregation in Phillips has big plans for its new churchSubmitted: 08/20/2017
Dakota Sherek
Dakota Sherek

A congregation in Phillips has big plans for its new church
PHILLIPS - Gospel, prayers, and reading from scripture are typical practices in many church services. But this week's Sunday service was a bit different for members of the First Presbyterian Church of Phillips.

The congregation got to spend Sunday morning at a church of their own for the first time in six years.

"We've been worshiping at St. Therese Catholic Church," said Pastor Matthew Arneson.

The congregation chose to tear down their old church several years ago because of safety reasons, and the high cost of restoration.

"The decision to tear down the old church was not a decision that anybody wanted to make. It was a decision that was essentially forced on us," said Arneson. 
After years of gathering donations and planning, the new Presbyterian Church started being built this summer. But the new building isn't intended to be a sanctuary for just the congregation itself. 
"Not only are we going to be reaching out to the community, but we're inviting the community to use this building," said Arneson.

The church will have wifi, coffee, and plenty of space for community members, organizations, or businesses to use.

"I really hope that more people are going to see the building as not just a church that you can use but as a place everyone can use that just so happens to have a church as the base," said church member Hollie Lackershire. 

The idea to serve as both a church and community building came from the group's own struggle while they were without a space of their own.

"When we wanted to do a bible study or we wanted to do some kind of our church event there just weren't places to go. Now we can be that place we were looking for," said Arneson. 
But the one-time service in their future location gave Presbyterian members a preview of what's to come.

"It feels fantastic to be and so we're right where we wanted to be and this is a dream come true," said Walter Moquin, a life-long member of the church.

"Now it's home, it's a base, for the ministry we've been talking about for six years, a ministry that is going to be a community ministry," said Arneson. 

The new church will sit in the same area as it's original location. It will be completed sometime in the fall.

All of the money for the more than $400,000 dollar project has been raised through donations.

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