Growing church buys land in Blaine

Staff Writer
I cover the cities of Andover, Blaine and Ramsey. I have worked at ABC Newspapers since August 2007.

A blossoming church secured a property surrounded by new homes under construction in northeast Blaine.

Renovation Church has been meeting at the Spring Lake Park School District’s Northpoint Elementary since 2009. The first services drew about 80 people and currently the combined attendance at the two Sunday services averages around 400, according to the lead pastor, the Rev. David Sorn. They did get about 2,000 people to come to six services this last Easter Sunday when Renovation Church promoted Easter egg hunts.

Blaine has been one of the fastest growing suburbs and the largest growth in now happening along Main Street and Lexington Avenue in the northeast quadrant of the city.

Renovation Church was recently able to close on the purchase of 6.53 acres at the southeast corner of Main Street and Lexington Avenue. The price was, according to Sorn.

Renovation Church paid Paxmar Land Development $1.1 million for the 6.53 acres, according to Sorn.

“A lot of homes are being developed around there,” Sorn said. “Visibility is a huge piece. That intersection has 27,000 cars a day go by.”

Sorn was 27 years old in 2009 when he left Grace Lutheran Church in Andover to start Renovation Church, which is part of the Converge church movement, once called the Baptist General Conference. Eagle Brook Church and Bethel University are a couple other institutions that follow the same religious practices as Renovation Church.

“I just really wanted to be able to reach people through Christ in the community and help re-introduce some people back to God. One of the easiest ways to do that is start a new church,” he said.

Renovation Church services start out with a band performing modern Christian rock songs. The dress code is casual. Sorn wears jeans.

He said his sermons are “challenging, yet intensely practicable so people can walk away feeling like they have next steps for what to do on Monday.”

The back side of the Sunday program includes a spot to jot notes.

Renovation Church only leases Northpoint Elementary’s gym on Sundays. There are currently seven house groups meeting Sunday through Thursday in the evenings.

“To the people in the community, six days a week we don’t exist,” he said. “We want to have more of a permanent presence in the community.”

Sarah Hawkins, of Coon Rapids, and Becca Jensen, of Blaine, have both attended Renovation Church for more than two years. They are excited the church was able to secure this land.

“I’m glad it’s finally a reality,” Hawkins said.

Jensen said she had attended Eagle Brook Church before deciding that the “mega church” atmosphere was not right for her.

“I could go week after week and not see the same person,” she said.

The second time Jensen attended Renovation Church, a greeter remembered her family and their names from their last visit.

Although Renovation Church has the land, there is no definitive timeline for when it will break ground. That will depend on fundraising. Sorn said the goal is to start construction in 2019 or 2020. The church raised more than half-a-million dollars between 2014 and 2017 to help pay for the land.

Sunday service times are 9:30 and 11 a.m.

Sept. 10 is a “family fun day” that will include food trucks and inflatables. Services will be at 9, 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.

To find out more, visit www.renovationchurch.org.

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Rev. David Sorn led the efforts to start Renovation Church in 2009. Photos by Eric Hagen A band plays Christian rock music during Renovation Church’s services. A band plays Christian rock music during Renovation Church’s services. Blaine residents Nate and Alison Speerbrecker are looking for a new church and stopped by Renovation Church on Aug. 20. They are visiting with Patrick Vesperman, who helped start this church in 2009. Renovation Church bought 6.53 acres at the southeast corner of 125th and Lexington avenues and hopes to break ground in 2019 or 2020 on a new building. Submitted graphic
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Blaine residents Nate and Alison Speerbrecker are looking for a new church and stopped by Renovation Church on Aug. 20. They are visiting with Patrick Vesperman, who helped start this church in 2009.