Briefs: Historic Church Sold, School Partnership Honored

Historic Church Bought for $1 Through Craigslist

MURDOCK, MN (May 15, 2012) – A grateful buyer purchased the 112-year-old Frank Lake Covenant Church building for one dollar after it was listed for sale on Craigslist, securing a new future for the historic structure.

Kathy Weckwerth, executive director of Best Life Ministries, said last week that she will move the building in late summer and use it as an office, for worship and conference space, and for Bible studies and other faith-based programs that she coordinates for women.

The church hasn’t been used for regular worship since the mid-1980s. A cemetery association that has been taking care of the building decided to sell it so that the group can use its limited resources to care for the cemeteries.

Dennis Johnson, a member of the association who grew up in the church, said prior to the sale that the church would have to be destroyed if it was not purchased.

“The church measures 42 by 36 feet and features stained glass windows, a decorative tin ceiling and rows of sturdy wood pews,” states a report in the West Central Tribune newspaper in Willmar. “It was built in 1900 after a fire destroyed the congregation’s original structure that had been built in 1887 by the Swedish immigrants that formed the congregation.”

Weckwerth grew up in Iowa and learned to sing hymns in Swedish from a neighbor. When Weckwerth, a church pianist since age 12, first walked into the Frank Lake building, she and Johnson sang “Trygarre Kan Ingen Vara” (Children of the Heavenly Father) together in Swedish in the empty sanctuary.

Click here to read more about the sale and church’s history.

Tulsa Congregation Honored for School Partnership

TULSA, OK (May 15, 2012) – The Tulsa Chamber of Commerce presented its “Outstanding Faith-Based Partner” award to Redeemer Covenant Church for the congregation’s partnership with Mark Twain Elementary School.

The award was presented Friday night during the Tulsa Public School District’s Partners in Education program.

The church has participated in numerous activities with the school, including science enrichment for fifth and sixth graders, providing 75 mentors, hosting class birthday parties and Literacy Night dinners, participating in Angel Tree and Trunk or Treat, providing Thanksgiving baskets to needy families, and assisting with gardens and landscape design.

To show their appreciation for the teachers’ work at the Mark Twain school, the church has surprised the educators with treats and words of encouragement placed in their school mailboxes. Those involved say it is a simple activity that makes a big difference.

One teacher wrote to the church, “I don’t know who the wonderful soul (or souls) are responsible for placing these encouraging notes and little treats in our mailboxes, but I would like them to know that I feel lifted up and encouraged each and every time I have found such a surprise.

“Especially on a day like today after assessing some of my students, then sitting with tears in my eyes looking at assessments that do not indicate ‘growth,’ but each and every student has progressed changed in so many ways,” the teacher continues. “I didn’t go into teaching to have anybody pat me on the back or cheer me on at all times, but I appreciate the words of encouragement that come during those times when teachers are not always able to witness for themselves the impact that they have in students’ lives.”

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  1. This is the church where my Mother and Father were married. This is the cemetery where my Mother’s parents—my Grandparents are buried. Every time we visit Minnesota we also visit Frank Lake Church. My son played the piano and my daughter the organ there in July 2010.

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