The Seventh-day Adventist congregation is celebrating the grand opening of its newly constructed sanctuary located at the corner of 10th Street and SW 30th Ave. (one mile west of 10th and Patton Road) this Saturday, Jan. 5. The service will begin with Bible study hour at 9:15 a.m. and the consecration service at 11. There will be a baptism at 2 p.m., followed at 3 by a short open house and musical concert. Representatives from the Kansas-Nebraska Conference of Seventh-day Adventists in Topeka will be represented as Elder John Sweigart, vice president for administration, will present the consecration message.
The Great Bend Seventh-day Adventist Church roots began in Great Bend in the 1940s when service men based at the Great Bend Airbase started their own Sabbath services in the USO building. In 1948 a new church building was dedicated on the corner of 12th and Madison.
In 1984 the congregation had a dream of starting their own elementary school. That August the new school opened and continues today providing anyone in the community with an alternative Christian education for students in grades K-8. In the early ’90s the congregation again started another building project, which provided a full sized gym, kitchen and meeting room. In anticipation of continuing with a sanctuary, the original church was sold and the church services were held in the gym. Within a few months vandals broke in and the building was gutted by fire. With the fire came the end of a dream and the church was then built inside the newly reconstructed gym.
The dream of a new sanctuary stayed with the congregation and in the spring of 2011 the decision was made to build a new sanctuary. Now at the end of construction, the congregation wishes to invite the public to their Grand Opening and Consecration Service at 11 a.m. Saturday and throughout the afternoon.
The church meets each Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon and the public is invited to share in their services each week.