The Salem Mennonite Church congregation in Waldron, Michigan, held the first worship service in its new building on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018.

Two and a half years after breaking ground for a new church building, the Salem Mennonite Church congregation in Waldron, Michigan, has begun worshipping in its new facility.

The first worship service in the new building took place on Sunday, Dec. 9. On that day, the congregation met in the lobby of the old church building and marched out together, singing “You shall go out with joy.” It was noted that in the Bible “shall” is not a suggestion, but rather a mandate.

Ohio Conference Moderator Bob Sauder, a member of Salem Mennonite, noted that while it took two and a half years to go from groundbreaking to move-in, members of the congregation began dreaming about constructing a new facility more than 20 years ago. He said that up to this point, the congregation has kept borrowing for the construction project to a minimum.

A grant from the Ohio Conference Ministry Development Team helped to fund the construction of a coffee bar area in the lobby of the new building. The cabinets in the coffee bar area were made from pine trees that were cut from the church property in order to access the site.

While the congregation has begun worshiping in the new building, some parts of the project remain unfinished. Work still is needed on several areas, such as the kitchen, carport, parking areas and landscaping.