Frequently Asked Questions

Friedens' Building Project

Why is Friedens doing a building project?

A church building is a “ministry tool” that can either empower or hinder the fruitfulness of the church’s ministry.  Like any ministry tool, the building should be regularly evaluated and adjusted to maximize its effectiveness in helping us make disciples.  Friedens has undergone several major building projects in the past, along with numerous occasions when parts of the facility were repurposed.  Yet as ministries grow and usages change, we must recognize that there comes a point when repurposed and makeshift solutions are inadequate.  Except for the sanctuary and maintenance, it has been nearly 30 years since Friedens’ building has received any significant updates.  When a ministry tool remains unchanged for that long, it is due for some major revisions. 


Friedens is blessed to have a unique church building with a beautiful sanctuary and a rich heritage.  However, in its current form, Friedens’ building presents serious hindrances and liabilities that negatively impact the experience of visitors and the effectiveness of our ministry.  The building project will ensure that the building supports rather than detracts from Friedens’ commitment to welcoming people and making disciples.  

Why is Friedens renovating rather than building a new facility?

After considering and researching the options, Friedens' leadership determined that maximizing our current location makes the most sense for multiple reasons:

  • Location: Friedens currently has a great location near downtown Port Washington, which allows it to truly feel like part of the community as a “neighborhood church.”  
  • Outreach: Friedens’ vision is to “bless the people of our community through Christ-centered love.”  This vision focuses on the ministry of the people of Friedens, yet it is valuable for Friedens’ building to be among the people we are seeking to reach with the Gospel.  The church’s current location is an embodiment of “incarnational ministry,” which follows Jesus’ lead in “dwelling among [people]” (John 1:14) rather than doing His ministry from afar.  
  • History:  Friedens’ current facility has a special heritage and an historic beauty.  
  • Financial:  Although renovation requires a major financial investment, it is a fraction of the cost of building new.  A new facility would cost at least twice what the renovation will cost, and if we want to expand the building's features and capacity beyond what Friedens will have after the building project, it would cost even more.  Friedens' leadership believes the wisest stewardship is to invest in our current facility.

What will the project accomplish?

  • A Warm Welcome Our new entrance will feature a canopy and outdoor gathering space that will invite newcomers inside. Glass doors and windows throughout the building will bring in natural sunlight. Relocating stairways and the front office will create a larger, open gathering space that flows directly into Fellowship Hall. Our hope is that this warm welcome from our facility will be an extension of the welcoming culture we prioritize as we greet visitors in person. 
  • Spaces for All Ages:  From nursery to adults, our renovations will have a lasting impact on how groups interact at Friedens. Our youngest kids will have a two-room nursery suite that is designed with their safety at the forefront. Each nursery will have an adjoining bathroom facility so nursery workers never have to leave to take a child to the bathroom. Children’s classes will be held in the three classrooms on the lower level where they currently meet, and the renovation will include a refresh of those spaces to make them an inviting kids zone. Middle and High School students will have space created for them in the current “old kitchen” and the mezzanine level. Finally, adult classrooms will be located in our current nursery space and the classroom across the hall from the nursery, which will both be renovated, as well as in a new addition on both upper and lower levels. This priority on spaces for all ages will create better opportunities for learning, spiritual growth, and relational connections.

  • Accessibility for Everyone:  The world we live in has come a long way in terms of prioritizing accessibility for those with special needs. At Friedens, we recognize that our historic building is long overdue for updates that will give our members and visitors, particularly those in wheelchairs, the ability to use our ministry spaces and bathrooms without struggle or embarrassment. With a new elevator and bathroom facilities, we will create a building that is accessible for everyone. 

How much will the project cost?

The total cost of the project is estimated to be $2.4 million.  On top of the visible changes to the building, the cost includes a sprinkler system and air conditioning for the entire building. new furniture in many spaces (including the replacement of the metal folding chairs that are currently used throughout the church), and improved Audio/Visual capabilities throughout the building. 

How will the project be funded?

There are three avenues of funding for this project, and Friedens will probably be utilizing all three:

  • Current Assets:  Friedens is blessed to be in a strong financial position, and we plan to devote $500,000 from Friedens' savings and investments into the building project.
  • Loan:  We plan to take out a loan to help finance the project.  If the capital campaign exceeds the minimum threshold for moving forward, the amount of the loan will decrease.
  • Capital Campaign:  A "capital campaign" is a process of raising funds through pledges, primarily within the church family, though contributions from those who don't regularly attend Friedens are also welcome.  In the capital campaign, our goal is to raise at least $1.4 million. 

What will be the capacity of Friedens' facility after this project?

We obviously don't want to invest in a major building project that we would outgrow in a few years.  Through the building project and future changes to the seating in the sanctuary, we can double Friedens' current Sunday-morning attendance to 400 people, which gives us significant room for growth. 

When will construction begin?

We are anticipating that construction will begin in May 2019 and would be completed in January 2020.