|Money has an inevitable gravitational effect|
New Arcadia church nears completion
By K�ri Knutson Lee Newspapers
ARCADIA, Wis. The members of Bethel Lutheran Church come together each Sunday to worship in a small room. The site is fine for the 80 or so members of the congregation unless they all decide to show up.
“We can seat about 50 comfortably,” said the Rev. Nathan Strutz, pastor of the church. “After that, we’re kind of squishing it.”
That won’t be a problem for long. The church is building a new 7,000-square-foot home off Hwy. 93 in Arcadia that will hold about 200 people. It’s the first new church built in Arcadia since 1910, Strutz said.
Strutz is leaving the church’s official grand opening in the Lord’s hands, but people who want a sneak peek can come to an open house this evening.
The Arcadia church is an offshoot of Bethel Lutheran Church in Galesville, Wis., where Strutz also serves as pastor. About a dozen members who used to drive to Galesville formed the Arcadia church in 2001.
The church received a $50,000 grant toward the new building from the La Crosse-based Antioch Foundation. An anonymous donor gave $650,000. The contributions have helped the project go beyond the basics, allowing for a bell tower, stained glass windows and carport.
“We’ve had one blessing after another,” Strutz said.
Church member Laverne Putz, 85, has come to the site every day to help and watch the church’s transformation.
“It’ll be different, that’s for sure,” Putz said.
He’s also enjoyed working with the Builders for Christ, a volunteer workforce helping to build the church. The volunteers come from all over the country, on a mission to help build churches, schools and nurseries for members of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
The group started with about seven members in 1991 and has grown to more than 300. The average age is about 72.
Martin Leyrer, 77, and wife Rose came from Muskegon, Mich., on June 13 and won’t be leaving until Sept. 9. The couple has helped on 32 church projects around the country.
Martin Leyrer has seen struggling congregations holding Sunday school in boiler rooms and hallways, and church services in high school gymnasiums and storefronts.
“We love our Lord,” Martin Leyrer said. “It’s such a grand opportunity to serve him in this way.”
Leyrer was a civil engineer and public works director and retired seven years ago.
“I’m confident that if I would have sat around in a rocking chair after I retired, I wouldn’t be here today,” Leyrer said. “You need mental and physical activity. Serving the Lord doesn’t hurt, either.”
Lunch is their pay. Leyrer found Tuesday’s wages of lasagna with sliced potatoes especially tasty. He and his fellow volunteers measure each project by how much weight they gain. They estimate Arcadia will be a 15-pounder.
His wife reminds him to take it easy, but he shows no signs of stopping, although he has sworn off ladders.
“After two concussions, three cracked ribs and a shoulder dislocation,” Lehrer said, “I think I’ll stay on the ground.”
Kori Knutson is a reporter at the Winona Daily News.
The person that is always named in connection with this Antioch Foundation in Lacrosse, Wisconsin is Donald P Zietlow. He is the President and CEO of Kwik Trip. Kwik Trip is all over Wisconsin and Minnesota, perhaps elsewhere too). They are gas stations/convenience stores/car washes and are thriving. It just so happens that Matt Doebler served in Wisconsin Rapids prior to going to his rock 'n roll mission in Texas. The Antioch Foundation is in the WELS Western Wisconsin District (where Matt was) and gave grants in that area. So Matt would be familiar with that name.
The tax form filed with the State of Wisconsin for tax year 2002:
First Evangelical Lutheran Church - $1000.00
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod - $167,000.00
Luther High School Foundation - $5000.00
Luther High School - $20,000.00
Total - $193,000
Number of grants: 10
Total amount: $ 550,659
Average grant: $ 55,066
Grant recipient (recipient location) - grant amount
Wi Evangelcial Lutheran Synod () - $ 228,000
Mount Calvary Lutheran Church () - $ 75,000
Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church () - $ 70,000
Martin Luther College () - $ 50,000
Lutheran Home Association () - $ 50,000
Mr. Calvary-grace Lutheran School () - $ 25,000
Luther High School () - $ 22,659
Resurrection Lutheran School () - $ 10,000
Christ Our Rock Evangelical Lutheran Church () - $ 10,000
Ascension Evangelical Lutheran Church () - $ 10,000
Name: Skestos Family Foundation
Contact: GEORGE ARTHUR SKESTOS
Address: 750 NORTHLAWN DR
COLUMBUS, OH 43214-1948
Web site: no data
Type: Private non-operating foundation
Grants distributed by this organization for year 2003
Number of grants: 18
Total amount: $ 432,000
Average grant: $ 24,000
Recipient geography: North Carolina, Ohio, Wisconsin
Grant recipient (recipient location) - grant amount
Ohio State University Medical (Cols, Ohio) - $ 100,000
Wels Kingdom Workers (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) - $ 75,000
Thoughts Faith Latvia (Oregon, Wisconsin) - $ 75,000
Confessional Lutheran (Oregon, Wisconsin) - $ 25,000
Samaritan's Purse (Boone, North Carolina) - $ 25,000
Heartbeat International (Cols, Ohio) - $ 25,000
St. Paul Lutheran (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 15,750
Zion Lutheran Church (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 12,500
Columbus Symphony Orchestra (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 10,000
Christian Life (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) - $ 10,000
Ohio University Foundation (Athens, Ohio) - $ 10,000
Women's Missionary League (Enon, Ohio) - $ 10,000
Emmanuel Lutheran (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 10,000 [Floyd Luther Stolzenburg, CGM]Alpha Counseling (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 7,500 [Note the odd juxtaposition with FLS]Up On The Roof (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 6,250
James Cancer Hospital (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 5,000
Franklin Conservatory (Columbus, Ohio) - $ 5,000
Pregnancy Decision Health Centers () - $ 5,000