By Jennifer Mayerle

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A north Minneapolis church in need of a miracle to stay open found it with the help of WCCO viewers. The boiler went out at Gethsemane Lutheran Church and with it came an unaffordable $50,000 dollar repair.

“We told you what was going on here and what was needed and we started a GoFundMe page and two days later all the resources that we needed materialized,” Pastor Jeff Nehrbass said.

Pastor Nehrbass shared how the generosity of the community will allow the church to keep serving.

“God is good. The people of the Twin Cities are warmhearted,” Nehrbass said.

Repairs are underway on the boiler and new pipes are being installed. Earlier this week Pastor Nehrbass feared the church would have to close after 125 years in the community.

“The critical issue was unless we found a way to bring heat to the building not only would the daycare go away, but the church would too,” Nehrbass said.

The daycare opened last year to offer affordable childcare to the community. And the revenue helps keep the ministry going. Volunteers feed 4,000 a month through their food shelf and meal program. The congregation prayed for a miracle once it learned it would cost $50,000 dollars to make the repairs.

Donations poured in, by the thousands online and in person. Don Davis was confirmed at the church.

“I saw it on the news last night. When I saw the other services, the way they’ve expanded it into the community, I think it’s really admirable so I thought a little donation may help sustain that,” Davis said.

People near and far gave so that the church can keep serving their neighbors.

“It means that people who don’t normally have a way to eat have food. Folks who try to work very hard but don’t make more than the minimum wage, folks who are struggling with life’s brokenness, and who need a little help just to make it through the day,” Nehrbass said.

Owens Company out of Bloomington started the repair earlier this week in good faith. They donated a substantial portion of their services.

The GoFundMe has raised more than amount needed to repair the boiler. Any additional funds will help pay down the loan the church took out to open the daycare.


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