Skip to Main Content

Fusion turns ten

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

34e3022c Cbd7 4775 A0ba 71d72aa352332x

Fusion UMC worships at the Sherman Center on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University. Photos courtesy of Fusion.

If people can't see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves. But when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed. Proverbs 29:18 (The Message)

September marks the tenth anniversary at Fusion UMC. That is quite a feat given that church plants struggle to survive beyond five years.

The Center for Missional Research reported in the Church Planting Health and Survivability Study, that 99 percent of church plants survive the first year. Of those that survive, 92 percent survive the second year, 81 percent the third year, and 68 percent the fourth year.

"We are continually trying to put into words what God is doing at Fusion. The scientific definition of Fusion is the collision of elements to form a new creation. That is where the name of Fusion comes from," said Pastor Taryn Ragels, lead pastor at Fusion UMC as she delivered the message at the worship service making the celebration.

Fusion began in 2011 as a partnership between Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) and the Dowtown Mitchell First United Methodist Church (UMC). The goal of the alliance was to reach young adults ages 18 to 35 years who did not have a church home. 

Fusion features a weekly modern worship style with a casual atmosphere, rocking music, graphics, and videos to illustrate the gospel's message. The worship is held at the Sherman Center on the campus of Dakota Wesleyan University. 

"Fusion started with a dream that the college students could worship with the greater community of Mitchell," said Pastor Taryn. "We have become an infused community where people travel from surrounding communities. People come from Catholic, Lutheran, and non-denominational backgrounds; young and old; men and women; all come together at Fusion. They unit together for worship and ministry at Fusion. That is a beautiful thing!" 

In 2012, a task force of members from Downtown Mitchell First UMC and Fusion made a recommendation that the two groups become independent. The task force worked with Paul Nixon and Emily Reese, consultants from Path 1 of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD).

"More than a decade ago, a group of us got together and dreamed of a place where people who never felt comfortable in church felt welcomed," said Rev. Brandon Vetter, in a video message. Vetter now serves at Legacy UMC in Bismarck, North Dakota and is the founding pastor at Fusion UMC. "The idea of Fusion comes from putting two things together that might not seemingly go together—faith and doubt, ancient and modern. Fusion shares a passion for social justice and seeing people follow Jesus. In our world, people are craving a place like Fusion."  

E5e71000 0b45 4c72 B7f7 B118438f4d192x

Pastor Taryn Ragels leads worship at Fusion.

Pastor Taryn's relationship with Fusion began when she was away at college. Her family got involved in Fusion. Her younger brother played the drums. When she returned from college for the summer, she attended this brand-new church with her family. The excitement of the new church was palpable and contagious. 

"It was a brand-new thing. I got to watch the impact of Fusion begin to transform my community and my family," said Pastor Taryn. "Fusion let me step into my call by letting me lead worship when I was home for the summer. Later God called me back to serve on staff at Fusion. I have a deep, deep love for Fusion."

Ragels’ encouraged people attending the worship service, celebrating ten years of ministry, to explore who we are and whose we are as Fusion Church. “Fusion is called to be in ministry in unique ways. Defining our core values is part of who we are and whose we are and our future,” she said.

Watch the celebration worship service.
Read the story Fusion blends partners to reach new disciples.

Read the story Fusion is chartered.
Fusion continues to grow read the story
View a video, Fusion a unique partnership.


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