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Backus church open house unveils $500K addition

Event will unveil community addition to the building.

Church of Nazarene siding.jpg
Construction has been going for nearly a year on a new community space on the back of the Backus Church of the Nazarene. The space, called The Beacon, will be unveiled at an open house, Sunday, July 10, 2022.
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BACKUS — Over the past year, the Backus Church of the Nazarene on the east side of Highway 371 has been under construction.

As the work nears completion, Pastor John Rister is preparing a celebration to unveil the project to those he hopes will come to use the space - the community.

"We are getting ready to do an open house on July 10 at 4 p.m. and we're trying to make a pretty big deal about it," Rister said. "It's a community facility and we want the community to use it. We don't want it to just sit there, so we're promoting it to be used by the community."

We want people to be able to come in and use it for wedding receptions and baby showers or graduations or just about anything they can think of. We're still trying to put a list together. There's so many possibilities.
Pastor John Rister

The facility, called The Beacon, will have space for many possibilities. There is a small athletic court with basketball hoops and volleyball equipment, bathrooms, a commercial kitchen, storage space and two large classrooms.

"We want to be able to use it for some different sports events," Rister said. "With a full volleyball court, it can be used for teams to come play a volleyball game if they want. It's a smaller basketball court, but we have a vision of bringing in an organization called Upward Basketball where it's more geared towards elementary aged kids and teaching them the basics of basketball.

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"Those are some highlights," Rister said. "We want people to be able to come in and use it for wedding receptions and baby showers or graduations or just about anything they can think of. We're still trying to put a list together. There's so many possibilities."

This $500,000 expansion has been on the church's wish list for many years. It was made possible largely because of volunteer work nearly doubling the value of the addition. The church also received one large donation, and many smaller donations from the congregation.

"It was something in the plan since Pastor Terril (Haddix) was here," Rister said. "They had plans made up and everything, but the money wasn't there. We were gifted with a significant contribution from someone who went to church here a long time ago, which invited us to look at the possibility of building it.

“With that, and with money the congregation has given every month, we've got 62% of it paid off already,” he siad. “We're well on our way to possibly pay it off in maybe five years."

The open house event will feature a barbecue, kids activities, cotton candy, inflatables and a short presentation on the expansion. The Church of the Nazarene district supervisor will attend and may speak.

Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or travis.grimler@pineandlakes.com.

Related Topics: BACKUSFAITHCONSTRUCTION
Travis Grimler began work at the Echo Journal Jan. 2 of 2013 while the publication was still split in two as the Pine River Journal and Lake Country Echo. He is a full time reporter/photographer/videographer for the paper and operates primarily out of the northern stretch of the coverage area (Hackensack to Jenkins).
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