Location change helps Minnesota church reach a new generation

Minneapolis, Minnesota

For 87 years, Faithbrook, formally Osseo Church of the Nazarene, was located in a quaint suburban town on the edge of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The church did well in the 60s and 70s, positioned on a neighborhood street so neighbors could walk to services. However, as the suburbs grew and culture changed, more and more people drove to church and parking became a hindrance.

Under the leadership of Pastor Jim Comfort, the church began to realize relocation would offer better visibility, accessibility, and a chance to restart itself to intercept the next generation and advance God’s kingdom. After a fundraising campaign 10 years ago, the church was able to purchase property just five miles away from their current location in a growing area of the Minneapolis suburbs.

Unfortunately, the historic recession put the plans on hold, but God had a better plan. The church members remained faithful to the vision, and God even allowed this delay to help pay the land debt down to give them a better financial position later. 

In 2014, God started opening doors to revisit the dream under a new name, Faithbrook Church. One critical moment came when the church received a "miracle offer" on their former building, but they were still short thousands of dollars to meet the projected building costs. The church leadership asked the congregation to pledge a sacrificial financial commitment that would have to be given by the end of the year. The members courageously pledged and gave $230,000! The Osseo building was sold, and the members held their last service May 22, 2016, as the Osseo Church. From there, Pastor Jim challenged the church to think and operate as pioneers as the forged ahead in faith as a mobile church until their new building was built.

Through this process, the church leadership knew that they would need divine help as their financial margins were razor thin. Major unexpected expenses appeared during the construction period, and the financial affordability was in jeopardy. The church applied for and received a grant from the Lasko Foundation. Pastor Jim Comfort said, “It was like manna falling from the sky.” With this grant, the church was able to complete the 12,300-sq. ft. building and even had some leftover for a grand opening marketing campaign.

Since the grand opening 17 September, the church has seen a major increase of new guests and returning guests. They even started a second service to accommodate the growth. Many people have felt the warmth and welcome of the new Faithbrook Church.

Pastor Comfort said Osseo Church of the Nazarene wanted to be a great example of how an older Nazarene church can restart itself to meet its mission in a modern day and give the church longevity.

“This took a large amount of faith, courage and sacrifice," he said. "The congregation knew it had to change if it was going to be effective in a modern suburb setting. Through it all, the church rested on the vision of Acts 1:8, that they would be God’s new witnesses in their Jerusalem and to the world, under the power of the Holy Spirit. The congregation likes to say, 'We stepped into the river by faith and God parted the waters.' And now, they have experienced what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians in his letter 3:20, 'God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…'"

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