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Rethinking its changes

Posted September 10, 2014 in Community Featured, West Des Moines
Plans are on hold for a community center at Maple Grove United Methodist Church on Ashworth Road.

Plans are on hold for a community center at Maple Grove United Methodist Church on Ashworth Road.

Maple Grove United Methodist Church, the little white church with red doors that are visible from U.S. Interstate 80, was built in 1900 and has undergone several changes over the years. But its plans for new construction, that were announced last year, are on hold for now.

By comparison to its bigger neighboring churches, Maple Grove remains a country church that serves the spiritual and community needs of a congregation of about 69 people, but like its neighbors it has wanted to grow in an area that is anchored by Jordan Creek Town Center.

Last year, church officials announced plans to expand the church’s home and break ground in 2014-2015 on a new 5,000 to 6,000-square-foot community center that would adjoin the century-old house of worship. Church leaders said it would be used to host weddings, church activities and other events designed to cater to the community.

The church had already purchased two additional acres of land so it could move its building further back from Ashworth Road, which the city planned to widen at some point, church officials said. The congregation had been seeking the money needed for the building’s move and additional construction by launching a capital campaign. Construction costs were estimated to be between $500,000 and $750,000.

But after months of work to move forward, the church’s new pastor, Emmanuel Tabelisma, says plans are on hold as they further evaluate their needs.

“We’re still stuck in that stage,” says Tabelisma, a retired Methodist minister who serves as Maple Grove’s pastor on a part-time basis. “We have a small congregation and we’re in the process of researching how much we can afford.”

Tabelisma, who was named pastor in June, says the church will scale back its plans and meet with its building committee to determine a new direction for renovation and possible expansion.

“We haven’t decided exactly what we will do yet, but we will know more next year,” he says.

For updates about the church’s construction plans, visit its website:

Maple Grove United Methodist Church
9391 Ashworth Road
Sunday worship: 9 a.m.
Sunday School: 10:30 a.m.

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