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PHOTOS: Mitchell Wesleyan Church expansion

Stained-glass windows from the former worship center now sit at the south entrance. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)1 / 13
The new foyer outside the worship center. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)2 / 13
One of the classrooms for children at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)3 / 13
New seating is placed in the youth area constructed behind the new worship center. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)4 / 13
New seating is placed in the youth area constructed behind the new worship center. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)5 / 13
Windows edge the south-side hallway leading into the upper level of the worship center. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)6 / 13
The youth area constructed behind the new worship center. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)7 / 13
The newly constructed worship center at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church will seat more than 600 people. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)8 / 13
Pastor Keith Nash stands in the upper level of the youth area built behind the worship center on the second floor. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)9 / 13
The youth area constructed behind the new worship center. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)10 / 13
The newly constructed worship center at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church will seat more than 600 people. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)11 / 13
The newly constructed worship center at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church will seat more than 600 people. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)12 / 13
The newly constructed worship center at the Mitchell Wesleyan Church will seat more than 600 people. (Sean Ryan/The Daily Republic)13 / 13

After 15 months of meeting in the Mitchell Christian School gymnasium, Mitchell Wesleyan Church held what it called an "out-of-exile party."

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The Rev. Keith Nash chuckles at the name, meant to describe how it felt to hold services in the new church sanctuary on July 28 for the first time since moving out when the project started in May 2012.

"It was like coming home," said Nash, senior pastor at the church. "We just felt like we were finally back to normal again."

He added that the "exile" was made much easier by Mitchell Christian allowing the church to rent space.

"Mitchell Christian was so gracious to us at that time," he said. "They were so helpful."

Nash said the expansion, added on to the Mitchell Wesleyan Church location at 601 N. Sanborn, cost $4.5 million. He said $2.9 million was paid through "sacrificial giving" of congregants as the building was constructed. The rest will be paid through a loan.

The new facility, which Nash estimated tripled the floor space for the church, boasts a larger sanctuary, as well as what Nash termed an "outstanding" youth center upstairs, and a spacious children's ministry area in the building. All of it is meant to help families grow together, and toward God, he said.

"Our mission is to bring God and people together through faith in Christ. That's the whole point of everything we do, including build this building," Nash said. "If this building helps us to bring God and people together, we will consider it a successful effort."

While a few minor things are still being completed, Nash said the church is in full use, and there is a community open house scheduled for the public on Oct. 13.

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