Updates for the NEW Racine Campus
Dear Great Lakes Family,
Approximately 18 months ago, the leadership of Great Lakes Church was approached by Tri-City National Bank (Oak Creek, WI) about the possibility of purchasing a facility in Racine. Initially we declined to have any conversations about this, for two specific reasons:
1. The building belonged to another church family.
2. We were laser focused on finding and securing property for our Kenosha campus.
Once the property in Kenosha became a reality, we learned through Tri-Cities bank that whether or not Great Lakes Church decided to move forward with this opportunity, eventually the building would be sold. This is a sobering reality for any church. With this information, both the advisory and stewardship teams of Great Lakes Church decided to explore the potential of acquiring this property.
Part of the exploration process included meeting with the leadership team of the church that had built the facility. In the course of our conversations with them, we learned that this ministry has existed in the Racine community for several decades and has had significant impact on the entire area. One example of this is their day care business, which has been ministering to families for 25 years.
There is no doubt in our minds that the individuals and families who make up True Life Ministries (the church family that built the facility) have served and worked faithfully to accomplish the mission that God placed in their hearts for the Racine community. We have great respect and appreciation for the work God has done, and will continue doing, through their ministry.
Regarding the facility, we are looking at this as a "transfer of Kingdom property." This is by no means a hostile takeover.
On Tuesday, December 30th, we legally purchased the building (along w/ two homes and approximate 15 acres of land). In about two months, after all of our paperwork has been approved, we will purchase the day care as well. We believe purchasing the day care makes great sense. Our goal is to provide a seamless transition of management and keep current employees in place, for the benefit of the children and families who rely on the day care.
We are incredibly excited at this opportunity that we could move on. As we have been saying over the last few years, as we’re faithful with the resources that God has given to us, we can be ready to move when situations like this arise.
Please be praying with us for God’s wisdom, leading, and favor as we begin the work of expanding our ministry in the Racine area. Thank you for believing with us for God’s continued work and blessings. Thank you for generously supporting God’s work at Great Lakes Church so that we can expand our outreach to people in our communities!
In this season of transition, the best way you can partner with us is by choosing to be faithful in your attendance, serving, and ongoing generosity. Let's remember the words of Jesus in Luke 12:48, "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required."
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Address: 9605 Spring St, Racine, WI 53406
(CLICK HERE FOR A MAP)
On Saturday, July 23rd, the Racine Journal Times ran a FRONT PAGE ARTICLE on the closing of True Life Church child care, which leases space at our Racine campus.
In Romans 12, Paul challenges us to "Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone" (verse 18). This is the backbone of our policy to only speak favorably about other churches and faith communities. We desire to show respect and kindness to everyone, and we also feel it is important to be up front and candid with the people of Great Lakes Church.
Hopefully this letter will bring clarity to any concerns you might have:
Great Lakes Church,
On July 23, the Racine Journal Times ran a front page article about the day care that is leasing space from us at the Racine campus. The article was written in a way that creates confusion on the role that Great Lakes Church actually plays in this situation.
When we purchased the building in Racine at the end of December, it had been in financial distress for five years. Since that time, we were in discussion of how to handle the daycare center operating within the building.
We just wanted to highlight for you the series of events that have unfolded since the first of the year.
Our desire was for True Life Church Child Care Center to continue renting their current space in our Racine facility. They turned that down, and alerted us that their license would not be renewed.
In an effort to minimize the impact on daycare families and staff, we began the process of attaining our own license. We believed this process would take around three months; it is now seven months and counting.
As you can imagine, there is more to this process than just state approval. We have always pledged to you to be good stewards of our resources, our team has gone through an extensive process of studying the available finances, the current state of the existing daycare, and the unexpected opportunity of running our own child care center. We will continue to work with the state for a license.
Simply said, the timeline and available credible information did not work out. To be clear, these events do not in any way affect our current or future financial position.
We are deeply saddened for all who have been impacted, as our intent was not for people to lose jobs or families to have to scramble for child care.
We, as a team, have wrestled with the idea of even being in the childcare business as this was not a part of our original mission. However, we will continue to explore opportunities in a rational and mission centered mindset. We love how we have evolved as a church over the last eight years, and continue to be excited for what God has for us. Let’s never lose sight of what God has given us to steward…a place that helps people to find and follow Jesus. Thank you for giving us the permission to be a place that can be open and transparent.
We encourage the Great Lakes family to allow us to handle this complicated situation by not making any public statements, either by responding to the newspaper or on social media.
PS: If you have a question for our stewardship team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and someone on the team will respond to you.
This team designs, builds, operates and manages the resources of Great Lakes Church.
Some of their responsibilities include:
- Continually evaluate the financial health of the church, based on giving vs. spending.
- Oversee the budget of the church and decide on any needed changes.
- Strategize on ways to best move the mission of the church forward, with the resources available.
- Determine the best use for any large gifts or unexpected financial surplus (investments, distribution, etc.)
- Approve quarterly budgets for each ministry
- Ensure that all church property is maintained well and that GLC is up-to-date with any legal requirements.
- Married to Corrine for 5 years (3 kids)
- Works in corporate strategy at Northwestern Mutual, managing a $250M budget
- Believes that common sense is as important as budgets and financial systems
- Wasn't attending church prior to Great Lakes and is passionate about making sure it remains in a financial position to continue focusing on people outside of the church and being a blessing to our local communities
- Married to Rindy for 19 years (3 kids)
- Lead pastor at Great Lakes Church
- Responsible for teaching, campus expansion and staff development
- Huge fan of the “envelope budget system,” taught by Dave Ramsey
- Married to Gretchen for 22 years (3 kids)
- Has been in medical device sales for 20 years
- Started his own company, EmbodyMed Inc in 2013
- Oversees the tear down team at the Kenosha campus... "We'd love to have you join the team! No, really!"
- Married to Jessica for 5 years... just had their first baby!
- Finance manager for a large CPG (consumer packaged goods) in southeastern Wisconsin (responsible for financial management of new products, achieving financial budgets, and achieving strategic targets)
- Certified Public Accountant
- Undergraduate degrees in Accounting & Finance with a Masters in Marketing
- Married to Lisa for 8 years (2 kids)
- Executive pastor at Great Lakes Church (and interim Kenosha campus pastor)
- Oversees the operations of Great Lakes Church (business development, campus expansion, finances, etc.)
- Passionately believes that the local church is the hope of the world and loves using his entrepreneurial skills to further the mission of the church
Liesel (picture and bio coming soon)
- Married to Marie for 6 1/2 years (2 kids)
- Work for General Mills as National Account Manager/Sales, calling on Walgreens (manage $21+ Million budget annually)
- Total Budget/Spreadsheet Nerd – has used a budget spreadsheet since his college years (15 years)
- Big Dave Ramsey fan (teaches "Financial Peace" crash courses for Great Lakes Church and works with individuals/couples/families to help with financial planning and budgeting)