After nearly two decades, Hope Lake Country will soon have a home of its own.
The church announced a groundbreaking celebration for its 26,000-square-foot facility at 2 p.m. Nov. 8. The new Hope Church will be at 2431 Dousman Road in the village of Summit.
“This is a very big day in the 18-year history of Hope Church,” said Jason Ewart, lead pastor. “As we take this step forward, I feel a strange mix of nostalgia and anticipation. While I’m looking back with gratitude, I’ve never had more optimism for the future of Hope Church, and how God will use this facility to make an impact in our local community.”
The rain date for the event is Nov. 15. Attendees are asked to park at Sentry Equipment Corp, 966 Blue Ribbon Circle N., where they will be directed across the street for the ceremony. Attendees will need to bring a shovel, according to a news release.
For the last nine years, Hope has held its services at Silver Lake Intermediate in Oconomowoc.
“We’ve really outgrown that space,” Ewart said of Silver Lake. “Before COVID our average attendance was about 600 people a weekend. Now we’re finally constructing our own facility so we can have more space and great control over that space.”
The facility will include a 700-seat auditorium and a wing devoted to kids. Additional spaces throughout the building will be used for small group gatherings, online church engagement and middle and high school student activities.
Catalyst Construction will serve as the contractor for the project, which is expected to take 10 months.
Ewart said the building will increase the church’s broadcast ability.
“The future of the church and the present of the church is digital,” Ewart said. “We can amplify the quality of what we’re doing by having more dedicated equipment. The challenge of being portable is your gear takes a beating every week. It’ll be really nice to have things like that set up so we can buy nice gear and it’s going to stay nice.”
About a third of Hope Church’s pre-pandemic attendance is in person with the rest watching online, Ewart said.
“To know we are putting a shovel in the ground, it’s really giving people that vision for the dawn after the long night of COVID finally comes to an end,” Ewart said. “It’s easy in this season to really get stuck in the present and everything going wrong. It’s given people that vision looking out with hope.”
A campaign began around two years ago to help fund the project.
“It’s been tremendously successful,” Ewart said. “People have been incredibly generous giving to that. Between what we saved previously, plus this initiative, we probably got to about 40% of the total facility costs. The rest we are borrowing from Waukesha State Bank.”
Ewart said the total project cost, which includes the purchase of the land, is around $7 million.
“This is our most significant step of faith as a church,” Ewart said. “We want to do whatever it takes to make an impact on the lives of the people in our local community.”