By Michelle Waters
Five years ago, the pastors of Morning Star Lutheran Church, Tim Glenham and John Mouritsen, envisioned a new worship center that would accommodate their growing congregation and also strengthen the community. The theme for the building campaign was “By Faith.” Because of the economic downturn that affected many congregants at Morning Star, they decided to hold back on that dream. This decision ultimately blessed them in many unforeseen ways. By waiting, they saved over a million dollars on the construction and in their opinion, had the chance to work with the finest building companies around Charlotte.
Morning Star, originally called Crooked Creek, was organized in 1775. It is 100 years older than the next oldest Lutheran church in Mecklenburg County. The church has staffed more than 36 pastors since its early beginnings. Pastor Tim Glenham said at the time in which the fourth sanctuary was built in 1906, the church had already been established for 125 years. The new sanctuary is the latest building to be erected since 1984 and will be Morning Star’s seventh sanctuary located on Idlewild Road.
The old sanctuary, now refurbished to be the Music Center, held 150 people. The new worship center will hold 300 people. The facility is equipped with state of the art audio and visual technology including a loop system for the hearing impaired that allows members of the congregation with hearing aids and implants to listen only to the service while cutting out background noise.
Morning Star held its ground breaking ceremony in December of 2010 and began construction in June of 2011. During the 10-month long construction, momentum was built through the use of Facebook and other social medias with photo updates and information about the daily changes to the work site.
The dedication ceremony for the new sanctuary will be held March 25 at 5 pm. Attending the dedication ceremony for the new sanctuary will be Bishop Leonard Bolick from the NC Synod of ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America). Bishop Bolick will proclaim the dedication message before the congregation. During the service the pastors will set up the final pieces of the sanctuary as well as praying and blessing the building along with the congregation.
“Our prayer is that the stuff that happens inside the building will strengthen what happens outside the building. More and more we’re looking at the church that is in each of our homes, the ministries that we do with our families, our neighborhoods, and communities, and where we work,” said Pastor John remarking on the ultimate purpose of their new building.