Redeemer Lutheran Church Family Life Center
January 5, 2021, 12:00 AM

A fire broke out at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Claremore on the evening of December 1, 2016 and destroyed the building which housed its fellowship hall, kitchen, library, nursery, and offices. Dedicated firefighters worked through the evening to contain the fire, and saved the congregation’s sanctuary. The sanctuary had been dedicated in December, 1983. The original building, which was lost, had been dedicated in 1952.

Plans for the replacement of the 1950s and 1960s “fellowship” building had been underway for many months, even years, before the fire; and a capital fundraising campaign had been initiated in the fall of 2016. The fire obviously accelerated the need to replace what was lost. At the time of the fire, the building fund contained about 22% of the capital needed for the new building and the insurance payment approximately covered an additional 20%.

Within three weeks after the fire, the congregation hired TAP Architecture of Oklahoma City as architects for a new building. The church office and spaces for meetings and other church activities were moved into the house the congregation owns just across the street. The three-room Sunday school “annex” building which had also been spared, was promptly moved away from the burn site to provide space for a nursery and classrooms.

In May of 2017, the congregation formally approved construction of the new building and authorized seeking a loan to enable construction to begin. The building loan was applied for with the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. Application was also made with Laborers for Christ, an organization that provides retired Lutheran workers who come from across the country in the likes of motorhomes, to spend weeks doing the actual construction work on the building. Through their efforts and those of the members of Redeemer Lutheran, the new Family Life Center was completed in the spring of 2019. Throughout the two-year building process, members at Redeemer continued to contribute to the building fund through a variety of means. The contributions of these committed stewards at Redeemer Lutheran resulted in a remaining mortgage balance as of November of 2019 is about 35% of the actual building costs.

Watch the video below for the story of the Redeemer Lutheran Family Life Center.




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