Joyful Spirit church members happily worship in new church

While it's still bare stud walls, that hasn't stopped this group from worshipping in the recently constructed space.

Joyful Spirit's new church building rises from an open field west of Wadena off Hwy 29. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

The shell of the new Joyful Spirit United Methodist Church is up and church members are already finding a peaceful place to worship inside.

After a whole lot of change, church members are again finding some consistency as they meet under the now enclosed new church building on Hwy 29 outside of Wadena.

The idea to build a new church building got serious back in 2018 and took off after the sale of both their previous church buildings in Deer Creek and then in Wadena. During that time the church body went from switching from church to church, to using the United Church of Christ Church in Wadena, having worship out in the open at their new location off Hwy 29 and finally they are in their new building. The church office is still set up in the UCC Church. Joyful Spirit building committee member Steve Techam said the partnership with the UCC has worked very well. He’s pleased with the church’s willingness to share a space with another congregation.

“We’re all Christians,” Techam said of the partnership.

With just three skilled workers from JR Construction out of Verndale, the building shot from the ground in just a week’s time and was quickly enclosed to fend off the largely unheard of rain storms.


The building’s concrete pad was poured last fall and the new structure was having electrical work installed this week.

“It’s going up fast,” commented Techam.

They’ve kept the project local with a local contractor, and local materials from Merickel Lumber.

Techam said the church was able to raise 75% of the cost of construction and has a loan to construct the building. While costs have increased thanks to a global pandemic, they are moving ahead as planned with the construction.

It's just bare bones inside, yet the Joyful Spirit Church body has been coming out to worship here during the month of August. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

They hope to be moved in by October. Techam was thankful that they ordered most of their materials and fixtures ahead of time but some items may still take a while to arrive.

During the course of this process the church has also seen several pastors come and go. The current pastor who’s been serving since June 27 is Ricardo Alcoser, who also serves as pastor of the Ottertail Methodist Church.


Techam said with a new building and a hopeful goodbye to a global pandemic, he hopes the church will see a strong fellowship of believers coming out to worship. Even so, he recognizes that the online attendance has been quite good and is likely to remain an option for people from all over to join in their services.

“I think forever,” Techam said of the long term use of online services. “It’s just convenient.”

At the same time, the church is thrilled to be able to have in-person service at the new property.

Embracing the technology changes and welcoming a new church building are moving this church into the future.

The church is located just west of Wadena off Hwy 29, near Black's Grove.

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in rural Deer Creek, Minn., where he is starting to homestead with his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
What To Read Next
Get Local