If you walk into the former senior center/American Legion on a Sunday morning, you will be seeing something new. The building has now been taken over by the Harvest Church in Isanti in an effort to come alongside the Sandstone Assembly of God congregation with hope the new church will eventually be independent.
Darren Sedler, pastor at both the Sandstone Assemblies of God Church and Isanti’s Harvest Church said the new location will be a secondary campus for the Harvest Church and that they will be selling the former church building at 701 Commercial Avenue North. They have officially vacated that building and now occupy the former Senior Center/American Legion at 206 Main Street.
The vision to occupy the building began when Sedler pulled into main street Sandstone. “I did what I do as a pastor and began praying for the community. I saw the empty building and we began praying for revival for the church,” recalled Sedler. “In the beginning of the summer, we did prayer walks and one gentleman went to the four corners of city limits to pray, and we felt the greatest impact that we could be in the culture, is to be here. We learned that the building could be gifted to someone as a 501c3, and when we found out about that, we were very excited at the opportunity.”
The building has now been turned over from the senior center to the church. “I have never been one to appreciate when church buildings sit empty,” said Sedler. For this reason, he hopes the building will be a place to gather for community events, as well as church meetings. “Our overall goal is for community outreach. We will open our doors for public and community use.”
“This is a better location and fits more with our vision of having a more central location,” said Sedler. He added that the building will continue to be used by the seniors for their Wednesday and Friday bingo time and other events, for American Legion meetings, and Al-Anon meetings. “They gave us the building, and in turn, we will continue to let them meet here for no charge. We will also continue to rent out the building for special events such as graduations parties, wedding receptions, voting location, and other community events.”
To help facilitate community use, Sedler said that the church hosts a free meal every Thursday at 6:00 p.m. which is open to the public. He said that the dinner is a time of fellowship followed by discussion and prayer for the needs of those gathered.
On Sunday morning, there is a church service which consists of a mix of traditional hymns and contemporary music and a message at 9:00 a.m. It is followed by fellowship time with coffee and donuts and adult Bible study at 10:15 a.m.
“These people are some of the most down to earth, warm people I have ministered to. This is the first church where I’ve actually had people talk back to me (in a good way),” he quipped.
The church plans on having an artist, who designs church crosses from Cambridge, come and design a cross to adorn the Sandstone building. “This is the theme of the building and how we drew the name for the church,” said Sedler.
“I am excited that the building is able to be used and can be part of the community for the larger sense,” said Sedler. “We have had positive feedback as people are glad to have it in use. We hope to be a positive influence in the community.”