Updated: 03/29/2013 5:55 PM KSTP.com By: Joy Lim Nakrin
One North Metro congregation needed a new church building, but couldn't afford it. So they built their own.
The congregation at Bethany Russian Baptist Church has grown to nearly 700 members over the years. According to Pastor Vitaliy Bak, that's double the number that could fit in the old building in Crystal. But they didn't have the budget to construct a new building. So they got creative.
Church member Vitaliy Tkach is construction manager by trade. He offered to train and lead fellow worshippers to build a new structure. Church leaders began rounding up volunteers, and soon they had 200 committed to building a new church in Brooklyn Park on Brookdale Avenue.
It took nearly one year of long 12-hour days, and lots of learning. Many of the members had no prior construction experience, but they certainly had commitment. They finished the job just in time for Holy Week. On Good Friday, they celebrated their first holiday at their new church.
Pastor Bak says, "we submit to this common vision this common goal and do it together, and when you do that theres power in that."
According to Bak, the congregation saved nearly $500,000 by doing their own labor. Their donations paid for the materials. Church members are now planning a second wing, and they intend to build it themselves.