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After more than five years of challenges and delays, Classis Northcentral Iowa hopes a church plant in Rochester, Minn., will soon become reality.

The dream took shape with the assistance of Christian Reformed Home Missions (HM) grant funding and the encouragement of HM regional leaders Jim Osterhouse and, later, Larry Meyer.

“It takes the whole church to plant a church,” Meyer noted. “Humanly speaking, this wouldn’t have happened without the persistent prayer and tenacious effort of many people.”

Partnership grants through Home Missions are funded by congregations throughout the Christian Reformed Church. Home Missions’ new role in church planting is to assist and encourage the work of classis and local groups.

Church planters Kyle and Wendy Haack are 2005 graduates of Western Theological Seminary, the Reformed Church in America’s seminary in Holland, Mich. Both grew up with Christian Reformed roots.

The classis views Rochester as a prime location for church planting. Currently there is only one small Reformed congregation in the city and about 60,000 residents are either underchurched or unchurched.

Kyle Haack said he and Wendy feel called to reach young people in the downtown area.

The name they’ve chosen is “Living Stone Church,” based on 1 Peter 2:4-5. Their target for starting public worship is February 2007.

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