Legacy United Methodist Church, located in northwest Bismarck, North Dakota, is experiencing growth. The church is launching a second campus in south Bismarck. Student ministry has grown and no longer fits in the current youth room.
In 2017, the leadership of Legacy discerned God calling them to start a second location in south Bismarck. Connections are being made through weekly small groups. A leader, Andy Early, has been selected for the south campus. Early, a local licensed pastor, is working on a Masters of Divinity while he plants the new Legacy South campus. The hope is to begin holding weekly worship in the late fall.
Each week 20-30 people, mostly children, gather at Guthmiller and Son Dirtworks, Lincoln, North Dakota, in small groups. The effort by Bismarck Legacy UMC to start another campus is supported by resources and advice from Rev. Ben Ingebretson, director of new church development for the Dakotas-Minnesota Area. Embrace Church, with four sites and an online campus, is guiding Legacy through the process of starting a second campus. The hope is to hold weekly worship in the late fall.
“Legacy Church began 120 years ago as a new church start from Mandan,” said Andy Early, leader of the south campus. “I’m excited to continue to live into that history and to be able to serve the people of south Bismarck. I look forward to what God will do!”
The number of middle school and high school students involved in ministry is on the rise at Legacy. Four years ago the youth ministry saw about 30 students each week. Today there are 70. There is only one room to serve as a gathering place for the youth, and that room is overflowing.
The growth in numbers is attributed to the location of the church. Legacy UMC opened their new church campus four years ago, in the northwest part of Bismarck, an area of the city experiencing lots of growth. The thriving youth ministry is supported by everyone in the church and student engagement is encouraged.
Vicky Vetter, student ministry director at Bismarck Legacy, says her team of leaders is very excited about the expansion as it will help them make room for new students to get connected, and it will serve current students better. Groundbreaking is planned for April, with the finished expansion scheduled for completion in early 2019.
Legacy UMC began a three-year fundraising campaign, called Legacy Onward, to expand the facility, launch a second campus, retire debt and create a permanent endowment fund. More than one million dollars have already been pledged to the project. The new building will add more student ministry spaces and adult classrooms. The campaign is managed through the Legacy Foundation.
The Dakotas United Methodist Foundation manages the funds for the foundation at Bismarck Legacy UMC. The Legacy Foundation is developing a permanent endowment fund to start new ministries and new mission projects, and maintain the long-term needs of facilities. While the Durango Street building is only four years old, there is just $400,000 debt left on the $6 million facility.
“It is incredible what God has done in our midst over the past few years,” Rev. Brandon Vetter, lead pastor at Legacy UMC, said. “People are freed from addictions, finding healing for their suffering and living into God’s preferred future for their lives. I cannot wait to see what the next years and decades bring!”