Lutheran Church of Hope is already 10,000 strong, and with the recent addition of a Waukee campus, it will continue to grow. Founded in 1994, the church has campuses in West Des Moines, Johnston-Grimes, Des Moines, Ankeny, and now Waukee.
According to Pat Quaid, Campus Pastor for the Waukee campus, the church’s new location expands its ability to minister to the growing metro area. “We’ll have more room for student ministry, more room for adult ministry, and we’ll be able to expand the ways we serve—both locally and globally,” he said.
Quaid has been involved with Hope Lutheran for 13 years. He served at the West Des Moines campus for 12 years, working in Care and Missions. About a year ago, he stepped into the new role as Campus Pastor. Quaid is responsible for everything at the Waukee location, from the ministry to the staff to the building itself.
The Waukee congregation began to gather in November 2014 at Shuler Elementary with over 400 people gathering to worship every Sunday. “We began discussing this about eight years ago, but it was in the last few years that the West Des Moines campus began reaching capacity during primetime,” said Quaid. (Primetime, he explained, is the time between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. every Sunday.)
Quaid lives in the Waukee school district and has seen firsthand the rapid growth and expansion of the area. “The mission of the church is to reach out to the world around us, so we needed to create a new campus for the growing suburbs to the west.”
Once they established a congregation, Hope Lutheran staff decided it was time to commit to a permanent location. Enter Point of Grace, a pre-existing church that was hoping to relinquish the financial burden of their location in favor of lower-cost facilities. “The opportunity with Point of Grace seemed like a good fit. They were helping us, and we were helping them,” said Quaid. The two organizations reached an agreement, and Hope Lutheran moved into the 12-acre campus. They opened their doors there on Oct. 4.
“We’ve had great support from the West Des Moines campus,” said Quaid. Members from that location came and supported the launch and the grand opening, during which over 1,100 people visited the campus.
Quaid and his staff are excited to share the new location with the congregation and the public. “For the last 11 months, we haven’t had the kind of facility where we could have midweek programming for classes,” said Quaid. With the new facility, they’ll be able to partner with organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous to allow people to meet during the week and work through the steps. “We’ll be able to interact with the community here in Waukee. People will know there’s a great ministry here and they’ll be able to take part in more events at the church,” he said.
Hope Lutheran prides itself on the work the congregation does for the community. For instance, it held a Souper Bowl and filled the shelves of a local food pantry in January. For the past two years, they’ve provided 75 backpacks for at-risk children in the Waukee school district, and they’ve fed a million people in 40 days and provided clean water for their mission partner, Globeserve Ministries, in Ghana.
During primetime, little ones from newborn to three years old can be cared for in the nursery. Children’s programs for those from three years old to 5th grade are also available, and kids get the chance to have their own opening and closing worship.
“It’s a relaxed, casual experience,” said Quaid. Senior Pastor Mike Housholder delivers the service. “Live music and our message is livestreamed from the West Des Moines campus. Attendees will find contemporary worship in their weekend sermons.”
The sanctuary houses about 860 worshippers, and the facility has a youth worship area for kids and families. “It’s bright and has great spaces of all sizes for events and classes,” said Quaid. Also important—there’s plenty of parking.
“We’re inviting everyone to come and visit. We love to see people experience the love of God and find a place in our growing community,” said Quaid. “We want them to know they are welcomed.”