Tribune staff reports
The congregation of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Seymour plans to dedicate the new fellowship center Sunday.
The dedication ceremony, led by Pastor Andrew Currao and Associate Pastor Joseph Barlau, will be during the 10:30 a.m. church service.
Former Pastor Paul Schlueter will be the guest preacher for the 8 a.m. service, and former Pastor Daniel Lepley will be the guest preacher for the 10:30 a.m. service. In addition, Pastor Otis Sauls, Redeemer’s pastor from 1965 to 1991, will participate.
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The ceremony will bring an end to the 18-month project that involved the demolition of the former parish hall and construction of the new addition on the north side of the sanctuary.
After a brief ceremony outside the building, the official first function — dinner for church members — will be conducted in the parish hall of the new addition.
Planning for the construction of new addition began in 2010. A capital campaign to fund the project began in early 2012.
Entheos Architects of Indianapolis was chosen in 2013. Bidding and the awarding of the contract awarding was conducted in 2014.
Kevin Stuckwisch, a native of Jackson County, was the lead architect.
Joshua Haywood of Entheos Architects was the coordinator for everyone involved in the construction, which begin with a groundbreaking ceremony in October 2014.
The general contractor for the project was Goecker Construction of Seymour, and many subcontractors from the Jackson County area also were involved in construction.
Others instrumental in the planning process were Todd Neawedde, project chairman; Joe Joiner, secretary of the project’s capital campaign; Joe Hildreth, this year’s congregational president; Kevin Kasting, congregational president for the two years of the project; and John Beatty, president of the church’s foundation.
The former parish hall was built in 1970 and provided the congregation with needed space for growth. Many church activities were conducted there during the past 44 years, but the congregation also grew from 717 members in 1944 to 1,288 currently.
Some of the features of the center include a drop-off canopy on the east side for the handicapped and ground-floor access to and from the church building. In the past, such access was only available with the stairways between the church and the former parish hall.
The parish center includes an elevator, providing access to all three floors of the new building with access to the basement of the church from the basement in the new building.
The ground floor contains the parish hall, kitchen, restrooms, nursery and a wide fellowship center, which extends from the Walnut Street entrance on the west to the east entrance and canopy.
The center opens into an outside courtyard that is between the church and the new building.
The second floor provides Sunday school classrooms, separate areas for the junior and senior groups, Kids For Christ, a choir practice room and a room for the ladies quilting group.
The congregation invites the public to visit with them and tour the center from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.