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A congregation finally has a place to call home

--- LakeLand Community Church to hold open house Oct. 7

Donna Lenz Wright/The Week

(Published Oct. 1, 2007, 3:38 p.m.)

For 10 years they gathered at Lake Geneva school gymnasiums to worship together.

Where they worshipped mattered far less than how and with whom they worshipped.

"We realize that people are at a different places in their journey with God," said Pastor David Hollie. "This ministry is built on helping people take the next step for them ... whether it's the first step of finding a church they can call home and grow emotionally and spiritually, or further in their journey."

While some people prefer churches that guide them through lessons as one group, the people who make up LakeLand Community Church prefer to travel through the lessons as they are ready for them on an individualized level.

The group felt this strongly enough to stay together for 10 years and finally create their own place to call home.

The group no longer gathers in school gymnasiums, but is now located at the actual central crossroads of Walworth County on Highway 67 just north of Highway 50---and that's no accident, Hollie and the congregation believe.

"We feel like being at the county's crossroads has been God's plan for this church all along," Hollie said. "It's a beautiful property, a wonderful location and now we feel like we have a beautiful building on it."

Hollie and his wife, Phyllis, came to Walworth County 10 years ago and they still marvel at their good fortune in finding the group of people that they have.

"We came here not knowing anybody and it's been such a joy just to plant this church," he said. "I just can't begin to express the kind of joy that this has brought into our life. We are very thankful and love the people of this church."

Examples of their individualized approach are evident in the construction of the new church itself.

For teens there is a red and blue worship area with high-definition television, music, games and atmosphere.

For others there is a coffee shop serving their own brand of coffee, a fireplace, another high-definition television; music; a patio with barbecue grills; a special parking area for motorcycles; and more.

"People can come and watch the football game by a cozy fire while their kids watch the game and play pool," Hollie said. "There's a place for everyone to be comfortable and enjoy themselves and each other's company."

And examples of their individualized approach are also evident in the programs they have.

There are programs aimed at building the strength of families through the strength of couples as a unit.

"We concentrate in learning how to communicate and learning how to love one another," he said. "We want to invest in families and helping them grow and mature together because the biggest thing that plagues our families is the divorce rate.

"We want to do the training on the front end to avoid troubles on the back end. We work through how to get through crises and learn how to find ways to grow stronger together---that's what keeps families together."

Another example of their many direct focuses is supporting faith in young adults. They decided that building them a great meeting area meeting the needs of that age group will be a solid foundation to moving on.

"Their area is a great balance of utilizing high-tech multi media-visionary and auditory tools," Hollie said. "And we blend that with the ageless word of God.

"We're taking biblical messages and bringing it to them in media form that they can both receive and apply to their everyday life.

"We were very intentional about the construction of the entire church."

Every member of the congregation contributed to the existence of the church in their own way, he said. People used their individual expertise to fill in the steps required to locate and purchase land, get zoning approval, build a building, construct landscaping and all of the other thousands of details necessary to complete such a big endeavor.

"They are outstanding folks who dedicated and committed themselves to take their next step and help others do the same.

"I'm so proud of them. We've found so much joy in the people---we've got a great church."

The LakeLand Community Church is holding an open house Sunday, Oct. 7 to welcome everyone interested in seeing their new church and/or joining the congregation. The daylong event begins at 8:30 a.m. with pastries by Hollie's daughter, Gina, who owns the French Pastry Bakery in Chicago, Ill. The ribbon-cutting ceremony is at 9 a.m. followed by a service at 10 a.m. Lunch on the patio begins at noon with barbecue, goodies, drinks, videos and youth activities available all afternoon. Katie Nelson will perform her Christian music at 6 p.m. and the Packer/Bear game will be on the big screen TV the rest of the night. For more information, call 245-4567, visit www.lakelandcommunitychurch.com or stop in Oct. 7.

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IF YOU GO

What: LakeLand Community Church Open House

Where: Highway 67 just north of Highway 50

When: Oct. 7 all day

Contact: 245-4567 or www.lakelandcommunitychurch.com

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