Hope Community Church (HCC) started in 1996 with 14 people in a living room. Early on, the church moved to a facility near the University of Minnesota but soon needed more space for their growing congregation. In 2003, HCC received a donated building from Central Evangelical Free Church and co-owned the building with the Evangelical Free Church of America's North Central District.
The congregation kept growing and the church’s leadership and congregation pondered their next step – knowing they had to make a change, but unsure what to do next.
The solution was less than 50 feet away from their front door. Built in 1883, historic Augustana Lutheran Church (ALC) needed a congregation to renovate and enliven its space. Although the capacity of ALC’s sanctuary was still not enough to seat HCC’s full congregation, ALC offered to sell the building for the initial 1883 construction price. Through God’s leading, HCC decided to purchase the building and use it in conjunction with their existing sanctuary for worship.
However, this newly-acquired worship space wasn’t ready to be used, so HCC began the renovation process with a CIF loan. The church tackled a restoration project filled with unexpected costs: a new ceiling, crumbling plaster repair, asbestos removal in the basement among other issues. The project became double the money and triple the timeline.
“This old, stubborn church did not want to be remodeled,” said Pastor Steve Treichler, “but it was the hand of God from the beginning. CIF has been unbelievably helpful, especially when things went over budget.” The new facility opened for worship in 2013 and is used in conjunction with their existing church sanctuary for Sunday worship. Pastor Steve reflected, "We love to be able to reclaim sacred space. The situation in Minneapolis is that there are a lot of dying churches. And we’d love to be able to work with that and remodel them to vibrant churches… When we moved downtown, we changed the slogan of our church to ‘vintage Christianity for the next generation.’"
Today, HCC continues to focus on a sharing the Gospel, planting new churches, and offering hope and transformation to others. CIF is happy to be a partner of great churches like HCC, working together to create space for expanding God’s kingdom.
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