Green Lake Church Campaigns Through the Years

Green Lake Church construction (1946-1947)
- The beautiful new Green Lake Church opened in December, 1947
- Dr. Ernest Ching was in charge of the campaign to raise the funds. It was not an easy task.
- Shortages of construction materials post-World War II were a serious challenge, and prices were escalating fast.
- Construction costs kept going over budget, requiring North Church members to dig more than once into their pockets to meet the cost overruns. Incomes were not high, and many individuals and families sacrificed.
- Miracle of miracles, Green Lake’s architectural standards (high beamed ceilings, the neo-gothic format, stained glass windows) and musical principles (pipe organ) were never compromised. The members kept giving.
- $130,000 (in 1947 dollars) was the cost.

Education Wing (1966)
- Green Lake was a huge success. At one point two services each Sabbath were required. Space in the new church was severely lacking—especially for children’s Sabbath School divisions. There was no kitchen.
- In 1966, the “Education Wing” campaign was spear-headed by Dr. Paul A. Johnson (a photo of the fund-raising committee is in the church archives)
- The needs were many: several new Sabbath School rooms, an extension of the foyer to the east, an additional stairway, a church library, four restrooms, storage space, and new entrances on both Woodlawn and 64th. One large classroom, a 24 x 42 ft. space, had a service kitchen at one end to accommodate social affairs and other meetings where food could be served.
- Everybody saw the need and pitched in. $100,000 was raised.

Casavant Pipe Organ campaign (1977)
- The original pipe organ, built just after World War II, had been pieced together from miscellaneous sources—including pipes that had been used in theater organs in the early decades of the 20th century.
- After three decades of yeoman service, the original pipe organ needed to be replaced or completely overhauled.
- Dr. Gordon Hale led the successful church-wide effort to raise $100,000 for a new Casavant organ. There was wide participation.
- The original Green Lake Church organ was given to Gem State Academy, where generations of students have used it.

Elevator and Roof campaign (2000) -- “Together We Can”
- Don and Shirley Mehrer saw that an aging group of members and handicapped members had great difficulty in navigating the stairs between the three levels of the church. Many were opposed to an elevator, some because of high initial costs, some over never-ending maintenance costs, and some because of aesthetics.
- At the same time, the cedar shingles from the church roof were more than 50 years old; some were starting to fall off. The roof was leaking onto some pews and onto the sanctuary floor, with resulting water damage and stains.
- While only some Green Lake members supported the elevator project, all saw the need for the roof replacement. Donors were encouraged to earmark donations to either one, or both, of the projects.
- The campaign goal included $50,000 for an endowment to maintain and service the elevator—so that annual elevator maintenance costs would not become a stumbling block.
- More than $450,000 was raised for both projects, and an endowment of nearly $69,000 for the elevator’s maintenance and eventual replacement was established.
- More than 100 donors contributed to the campaign’s success, including even children. Ken Walters chaired the campaign committee. Shirley Mehrer, a member of the committee, devised a program for getting Green Lake children’s divisions involved in the project. This broadened participation to include the younger set, who saw their names inscribed on the donor board.
- The money raised, work on both projects was quickly finished. People with limited mobility and handicaps are forever grateful to have easy access between levels of the church and everyone can now easily navigate between floors, Sabbath School and church services, and classes.

Platform campaign (2010) -- “Staging Our Future”
- By 2007 the Casavant organ was 30 years old and in need of major renovation and refurbishing. Some members urged that instead of investing large sums in the existing organ, it might be wiser to replace the organ. But the price tag for a new organ was daunting. New plans were developed to find a more affordable organ solution. Planning and quiet fundraising for a new organ began.
- The platform in the sanctuary was another issue. The Design and Planning Committee proposed a new platform. The Green Lake Orchestra had also been successfully launched, and the old plywood platform extensions that had been constructed had to be hauled up from the basement to enlarge the sanctuary stage for special events. Some were worried about the safety of balancing an orchestra of children on a “temporary” stage. Storage was also a problem and the deacons found the continual hauling of boxes onerous.
- In 2010, a $100,000 goal for the platform campaign was set and Ken Fairchild and Amy Worrell-Kneller co-chaired the fund-raising committee for the platform project.
- The Green Lake Foundation and lead donors provided a $17,000 matching grant that matched gifts dollar-for-dollar, propelling the effort to reach its $100,000 goal in early 2011.
- More than 100 donors contributed to the campaign.

Final Push of the Pipe Organ campaign (2011-2012) -- “Pulling out all the Stops”
- Quiet fundraising for a new organ had already begun in 2006.
- In 2007 the church held an auction to launch the organ project and to begin fundraising for an endowment for organ improvements and maintenance. One church member matched all funds raised at the auction up to $50,000.
- An “anchor” gift had been made for a new organ in 2007 and 2008, without which the campaign would never have been possible. Other gifts had been made even sooner.
- By 2010, $100,000 had been raised for the organ endowment, and the fundraising goal for the organ campaign was increased to $550,000.
- Amy Worrell-Kneller and Schuan Carpenter were co-chairs of the Committee for the final organ campaign push.
- By 2012 the campaign was completed, with a total of $420,758 in gifts collected for the organ fund. With the addition of earnings from gift funds held by the Green Lake Foundation during the campaign, the campaign raised $459,000 -- an amount sufficient to cover the costs for the new organ as well as needed modifications to the platform. A success!

Today, the overwhelming consensus is that all our capital campaigns have been hugely beneficial to the church, our members, and to the church ministries.