Children Break Ground for New Kalispell Church
Armed with uniquely decorated shovels, more than 30 children kicked off the groundbreaking ceremony for Kalispell Church. They were among the more than 100 people who were on hand for the dedication, held on Sept. 12, 2015.
As the key to the future of the Kalispell Church, the children were asked to take a central role in the groundbreaking ceremony. The ceremony also featured a brief history of Adventists in the area, a dedicatory prayer and singing.
“You have a long journey ahead,” said Merlin Knowles, Montana Conference president, during the event. “You may not agree on the color of the carpet or what paint should go on the walls, but you can always agree that we have the same mission — sharing the ministry of Jesus Christ with everyone we come in contact with.”
The church was founded in Kalispell in 1910 and has been located on U.S. 93 North for the past 45 years. The congregation has experienced more than 15 percent growth over the past few years and currently has an attendance of about 175 people.
“It was not that long ago that our members fit comfortably into our little church,” explains Casey Higgins, Kalispell Church pastor. “Now we regularly have close to 20 kids and parents in each of our children’s Sabbath School classes.”
The church sits on top of a large hill next to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. Two years ago, the medical center offered to purchase the church property and gave the church a two-year lease to find a location that could accommodate the growth in membership.
“Several young families have moved to this area in the past two years,” says Higgins. “We are truly blessed to have so many children in our church.”
The property has plenty of room for future expansion, according to Higgins. The new 7,400-square-foot church will have an expanded educational wing to accommodate the rapid growth the church is experiencing. Additional space will serve as both a sanctuary and fellowship hall. Higgins and the church’s building committee members plan to add a separate sanctuary as part of the second phase of construction.
“We’re excited about what it represents — future growth and more potential for serving our community and our families,” Higgins says.
The church runs a radio station, KANB-FM, that will also relocate to the new property. In addition to the radio station, the church operates a church school and a community service center.
The new church will be built on the corner of Old Reserve Drive and Spring Creek Road in Kalispell. Construction on the 20-acre property is underway and should be completed in May.