By: 15Gail Johnson
Walker Community United Methodist Church (Minneapolis) will build a new structure on the lot (3104 16th Ave. S.) where their previous building burned down on May 27.
“We looked at various options, including renting, purchasing, and rebuilding,” said Rev. Walter Lockhart IV, Walker’s pastor. “We determined that the best plan is to rebuild on the same site.”
The church has chosen Kaas Wilson as the architectural firm for the project. Walker will obtain a building permit by Nov. 21 and expects a spring 2013 ground breaking. Construction is anticipated to be complete by Christmas 2013.
“Walker Community members have been growing together as a community and planning for the new permanent space,” Lockhart said. “There is a lot of excitement about having an accessible and environmentally friendly building to call our new home.
“We’ve done the head work,” he said. “The decision made last night [Aug 27] was an emotional moment to say ‘Yes, this place means a lot.’ It was clear this was the right and important thing to do.”
Starting Sept. 9, Walker Community will worship at Patrick’s Cabaret in Minneapolis, which presented them with an affordable arrangement.
The congregation dates back to 1886. Serving the Powderhorn Park neighborhood, which was growing rapidly in the early 20th century, its membership peaked at 649 in 1927.
It has weathered neighborhood demographic changes, social and cultural shifts, and untimely deaths of two pastors. It is known for its social justice ministry and for opening the building to community groups.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church