A thunderstorm rumbled through the city as Le Mars Bible Church (LBC) Associate Pastor Mike Hulinsky welcomed the church members and guests to the 10:45 a.m. service.
"It is exciting to be here for the first time, isn't it?" Hulinsky said. "We even get to see what it sounds like during a thunderstorm."
"To celebrate the Lord's faithfulness we wanted to be out here and praise the Lord together as a body all in one service," the associate pastor said.
The 200 families who belong to the congregation traditionally have two Sunday morning worship services.
The 12,000 square-foot addition with the new multipurpose and youth rooms at LBC Church nearly doubled the existing 14,000 square-foot facility.
The addition to the church building at 1550 Seventh Ave. S.E. also includes a larger nursery and kitchen area.
Fred Gums, senior pastor at LBC, told those gathered at the dedicaton service that it was a happy day.
"We have looked forward to this day for a long time," Gums said. "What a beautiful place has been provided for us by the Lord."
The senior pastor expects every age group to be blessed by the addition.
"The multipurpose room is going to be used a lot by our youth," Gums said. "We have a beautiful youth room. It's going to be used every Wednesday night and Sunday night."
He explained there is a growing youth ministry at Le Mars Bible Church.
"We find a lot of kids from the community -- even some who are unchurched -- are coming in and being ministered to by the love of God and the Gospel here," Gums said.
More than 100 children from LBC and the community gather for AWANA ministry on Wednesday evenings.
AWANA is a Bible-centered program of games, Bible stories and memorizing Bible scripture for children through sixth grade.
The youth pastor is Matt McGrew.
The new facilities will also be used for receptions after weddings and funerals as well as conferences.
Gums described the togetherness of the congregation as a blessing of the project.
"God gave us wonderful unity through the project," Gums said. "Building projects can be stressful on a congregation and cause division."
He said the project had challenges as there always are with building projects.
"People have been willing to give, to help, to pray," he said. "Some of our senior citizens obviously can't pick up a paint brush or a hammer, but they're telling us they're praying."
Another blessing to the project has been relationships formed with contractors, he said.
"We said from the beginning we wanted it to be more than about building a building or a building project," Gums explained. "We wanted it somehow to communicate the love of God during the process both within our church, and I think outside the church."
Timmins Construction, of Le Mars, was the contractor for the $1.3 million addition to the church building.
The congregation completed the original building in October of 1997.
Gums recognized owner Larry Timmins, a member of the congregation, during the dedication. He also presented a yellow hard hat with Timmins' name on one side of the hat and the church's initials on the front.
Groundbreaking for the addition on the northeast side of the existing church building was in August of last year.
Building committee members were Jim Hess, Greg Jahn, Gail Jones, Jim Marienau, Roxanne Rahn, Mike Sluiter and Gary Susemihl.