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Grace Lutheran upgrades, expands to extend Kingman ministry

From left to right, Bruce Parkinson and Troy Noble of T.R. Orr work on Grace Lutheran Church Tuesday. (JC AMBERLYN/Miner)

KINGMAN - Grace Lutheran Church is building out to broaden its outreach in the city.

The building campaign, called "Expanding Space to Spread God's Grace," includes adding an office, a conference room and two covered patios. Also, the current kitchen will double in size and be upgraded to commercial status, and the church's restrooms will be replaced to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Construction began Monday on the expansion, which will cost $464,000 and cover 1,700 square feet. The Rev. Ray Christenson said he asked for pledges Sunday from church parishioners and got commitments for $403,629. The work will be completed by Aug.15, he said. The contractor is T.R. Orr Inc. of Kingman.

A ground-breaking ceremony is scheduled at the church, 2101 Harrison St., at 9:15 a.m. May 5.

"I'm very excited about the expansion," said Christenson. "This building needs to be uplifted and upgraded, and now we'll be able to reach out even more. The possibilities are just unlimited. We're not doing this to make ourselves feel comfortable, but to help people in Kingman."

An expanded, commercial-grade kitchen is essential to the church and long overdue, said Christenson. It will be used for church functions and to provide meals for community events, including a neighborhood senior meal program.

Christenson said the church offers a car show in October and feeds participants. Last year, it drew 53 cars and 300 attendees. And the Trunk or Treat Halloween give-away that same month brought in about 300 hungry children and parents who ate at the church. Christenson is hoping to increase food-related programs in the community.

Another reason for the kitchen upgrade, said Christenson, was a visit last year by the Mohave County Health Department, which advised the church to bring the facilities up to date. Christenson said if money must be spent for upgrades, the church wants to do it right so it is compliant with the law.

"We've been here a long time and have a great deal of history in Kingman," said Christenson. "This congregation supports our ministry here. Some of the people in the community live marginally and are in need of basic things like food. This is our attempt to reach out to them."

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