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Builders Club grant helps Trinity UMC connect with community

By: Kelsey Morgan, office assistant, Dakotas United Methodist Foundation

Since the Dakotas Conference Builders Club was established in 1994, almost $1 million has been collected and granted to churches for their building projects, with the average grant being around $10,000 each quarter. Builders Club, administered by Dakotas United Methodist Foundation, is a partnership among hundreds of people across the Dakotas Conference. Each quarter, a church is selected to support, and a call letter is sent out describing their building project. Donations are then collected for three months and given to the recipient church. Trinity United Methodist Church, in Lead, South Dakota is a recent recipient of a Builders Club grant. See past recipients here.

For several years, Trinity United Methodist Church in Lead, South Dakota dreamed of moving the church offices to the Christian Ministry Center next door. The Christian Ministry Center (CMC) had been purchased by Trinity UMC a few years ago, but part of the space was being rented out at the time.

When the partnership ceased, Pastor Peggy Hanson, who serves Trinity UMC in Lead, and the trustees at Trinity UMC, saw the opportune moment to remodel the CMC. Pastor Peggy sat down with the trustees and other leaders in the congregation to do some visioning for space, discuss the transition process, and map out the funding needed. 

The old office space at the Christian Ministry Center in Lead is being updated for the church and pastor's offices to move in. Photos courtesy of Trinity UMC.

Currently, church offices are not only hard to locate, but difficult for church members and visitors to access. The Christian Ministry Center renovation project will make the church and pastor’s offices accessible and allow for greater community outreach. 

The youth group at Trinity UMC is thriving and needs a space to call their own. The current office space will be remodeled as a designated place for youth ministry. “This would give them ownership and a sense of belonging to the church. It shows that the ministry with the youth is a priority to the church as both an outreach and connectional point to the church family,” comments Cameron Jacobson Wefso, project coordinator. 

To help with the costs of this project, Trinity UMC applied for and received a Builders Club grant. Builders Club funding allowed the congregation to move forward with plans to renovate both spaces—CMC and the youth area. 

After receiving the notification, that Builders Club funds were awarded, members of Trinity UMC were quick to put plans into motion. On the Monday of Holy Week, Pastor Peggy, members of the trustees, and a few other leaders in the church met to prioritize projects. The team needed to figure out what could be done themselves and what needed to be contracted out. 

Members of Trinity UMC working on the demolition pause for a photo.

The following Monday, demolition started at the Christian Ministry Center. This included clearing out the spaces, removing wall paneling, and saying a happy goodbye to the old shag carpet. Whatever was salvageable was donated to the Habitat for Humanity Restore in Spearfish. 

After the demolition, trustees measured, cut out space in the wall, and installed new windows. Next came the framing, insulating, sheet rocking, electrical installation, taping and mudding, and sanding. 

The construction team is currently painting and installing new flooring. Once this is done the offices will be moved over to their new home and renovation will start on the youth space. 

The hope is that by moving the offices to the Christian Ministry Center, the pastor and church resources will be more accessible and visible to everyone. Pastor Peggy is also hoping to connect with the community by hosting outside groups and events in the fellowship area of the CMC, such as community blood drives. The new space will be more visible, inviting, and accessible to all. Trinity UMC will be able to build more relationships, offer better hospitality, and be a visible presence in the community. 

Trinity UMC has accomplished a lot in the past month thanks to the dedicated members of the congregation. Pastor Peggy praises the congregation for their hard work in making this dream a reality, “The congregation has been very supportive. The trustees and friends have been doing all the work, giving tirelessly of themselves.” The youth are also getting involved, giving them a sense of investment and ownership in their new space. One of the biggest blessings is that the project has been under budget so far, which allows Trinity UMC some flexibility. 

The new office space, in the Christian Ministry Center, is ready for paint and flooring.

“There is nothing that can’t be accomplished when you put it in the hands of Trinity United Methodists!” says Pastor Peggy. 

None of this would have been possible for Trinity UMC at the current time without receiving a Builders Club grant. Pastor Peggy encouraged members of the Trinity UMC to become involved in Builders Club, not just for their church project, but to support future churches in building projects. She highlighted the benefits for their church and the connectionalism throughout the conference that makes it all possible. There are folks at Trinity UMC, as there are at all churches, who are genuinely passionate about “brick and mortar” projects. 

Trinity UMC thanks Builders Club for the grant they received, “Thank you for your support, and for helping this dream become a reality.”

If you would like to join the Builders Club here, or would like to apply for a Builders Club grant, get the details here, or contact the Dakotas United Methodist Foundation by email or phone 605-990-7790.


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000