MINNEAPOLIS - North United Methodist Church has sat on the corner of North Fremont Ave and North 44th Ave since the 1920's. It has seen members come and go. Erv and Barbara Moser joined in 1954 and have seen it all.
"These used to be all Sunday school rooms when we had a boom population in the 50's and 60's," Erv said while walking around on the third floor.
The congregation dwindled from 900 members at its peak decades ago to just 160 members today, said Pastor Linda Koelman.
Though they are small their hearts are big. After last year's tornado they opened up their clothing closet, a place where anyone in need can go to get clothes, to victims of the tornado.
"Our clothing closet services became huge for people who had nothing to wear," she said.
Koelman said they don't have much but what they do have they are proud of.
"We're just glad we can be that place where people can come and know that it's safe and know that they are welcome here," Koelman said.
That attitude resulted in a big surprise. The church was nominated for a complete make-over from Cushman & Wakefield/Northmarq. The old office got new carpet, the sanctuary got new fans and the clothing closet got bigger.
"We're certainly helping the church but the church in turn is helping so many different people in so many different ways," Jeff Eaton, president of Cushman & Wakefield/Northmarq, said
The renovation is valued at more than $100,000. It's something the church could have never done.
"We were in a mode of 'if something breaks and you can live without it don't fix it. If it breaks and it has to be fixed, okay, we will,'" Koelman said.
The upgrade allows them to keep giving. Barb and Erv hope it gets people's attention.
"We'd really like to see North Church be spruced up and look good. Maybe we can attract some new people from the neighborhood," Erv said.
The Pohlad Family Foundation also matched funds for the project. So far, it has taken more than 100 hours from volunteers to make the renovation possible.
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