SHELDON—Living Water Community Church pastor Jesse Walhof continues to count his church’s blessing.
The latest blessing to the Sheldon church is a children’s ministry, which was introduced before Sunday’s 10 a.m. service.
The children’s ministry has been a dream of the campus since Living Water started seven years ago at 610 Second Ave.
The church’s leadership has hit that goal hard the last couple of years and the coronavirus did put a setback on its plans.
But the dream became a reality on Sunday when the four rooms in the north end of the building were opened to the children and their families at Living Water.
“We felt like we are in a really good space to say to young families and children that we have something for you and it is an amazing thing for you because God has blessed it,” Walhof said. “This is something young families and kids have wanted for a while. They are the future of the church. These are the families that will carry us into the next generation. It will give them a strong sense of who God is.”
The Sheldon campus was able to add the children’s ministry because of the Ebenezer campaign, which benefited it and the other Living Water Community Church, located in Orange City.
The Ebenezer campaign’s goal was to raise $300,000 for an education space in Sheldon for children’s ministries, future improvements for Orange City’s facility for a nursery and a classroom and debt reduction with a loan associated with Sheldon Christian School.
The cost for remodeling the north end of Living Water Community Church in Sheldon for the children’s ministry was $120,000.
“Originally, it was just a wide-open space for storage with the hopes of a children’s ministry,” Walhof said. “It is a tremendous gift from God. We didn’t have to worry about purchasing any property or buying an empty storefront. We can dream big here and we are blessed with the space God gave us.”
Troy Sohn of Sheldon, who attends Living Water Community Church, is an independent contractor, and Walhof said he was instrumental in remodeling the north end.
Four rooms were built and new dry wall, paint and carpet were all installed.
“He got the plans from a couple of people at church,” Walhof said. “Where we could help, we did. He was the primary guy.”
The ceiling for the children’s ministry area is braced for a second floor that could be used in the future.
“Hopefully, in five to 10 years, whatever God puts our way,” Walhof said. “Maybe use it a youth space or adult Sunday School or for a community gathering area.”
There is a play area outside of the rooms in the children’s ministry. One of the rooms is for kindergarten- through second-grade students and another room is for third- through fifth-grade students.
Sunday School will be offered 9-9:45 a.m. each Sunday before the 10 a.m. service. Walhof said 130-150 people typically attend Sunday service.
While the rooms are primarily for the children’s ministry, it allows the church to offer other activities as well.
There will be an adult Sunday School 9-9:45 a.m. A men’s group will meet back there at 7 p.m. every other Wednesday. A women’s group is starting Oct. 12 and will meet at 7 p.m. every other Tuesday. Bethel Reformed Church will use the area for its Wednesday night activities.
“We are indeed truly blessed as a church,” Walhof said. “We are blessed to serve the community and the congregation. This is an example of how the Lord has helped us serve the community as best we can.”