By: Christa Meland
Embrace is a United Methodist church that began in 2006 with 40 people; it now averages close to 3,000 people in average worship attendance across three physical locations in South Dakota and an online community.
The Twin Cities campus, Embrace’s fifth, will be in Lakeland, located about 35 miles east of Minneapolis. Rev. Austin Walker, who has spent the past eight months leading one of Embrace’s South Dakota campuses, will return to his home state of Minnesota this fall to lead the Twin Cities campus.
“I am so excited for the possibilities that lie ahead and to reach the next person for Jesus,” said Walker, who grew up in Hastings. He spent eight years as the youth pastor at Hastings United Methodist Church before joining Embrace in January.
Embrace’s new campus will be located inside what is now St. Croix Valley United Methodist Church. Church members voted Monday to discontinue and give their building to Embrace so that Embrace could launch a new campus there.
The idea of starting a Twin Cities campus emerged about a year ago when Bishop Bruce R. Ough (bishop of both the Dakotas Annual Conference and the Minnesota Annual Conference) invited Embrace leadership to consider doing so. This summer, they said “yes” to that invitation.
“We are thrilled to welcome Embrace to the Twin Cities and so thankful to St. Croix Valley United Methodist Church for making this possible by giving over their building,” said Minnesota Director of Ministries, Rev. Cindy Gregorson. “In Minnesota, we are committed to reaching the next generation and making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Embrace is a growing, vital, and vibrant church that’s effective at connecting people with God and helping them grow in their faith.”
Embrace’s Twin Cities campus doesn’t yet have a specific launch date but will open its doors by December 1. Sunday worship services at the new site will be offered at 10 and 11:15 a.m. A “children’s church” and a nursery will be available during both services. Worship services will be geared toward believes and non-believers alike.
Click here to see a video of Embrace Lead Pastor Adam Weber talking about the new Twin Cities campus.
The new Embrace campus joins another new faith community that is launching in Minnesota this year: New City Church in the Phillips-Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis, led by Rev. Tyler Sit.
Christa Meland is director of communications for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church