In 2001, Red Cedar Church in Rice Lake had a vision to plant (to begin) new churches in Northwest Wisconsin. A team of volunteers from Red Cedar formed around Kevin O'Conner and committed themselves to help in the start-up of a new church in Cumberland. They desired to reach out to the un-churched in the community with a style of church that was both meaningful and relevant.
In January 2002, the first preview church service was held at the Senior Citizen’s Center in Cumberland. After a couple of months, the church meetings moved to the Cumberland Middle School building and in September 2002 NLCC “officially launched” with about 45 adults and children attending.
Meeting at the Cumberland Middle School had limitations such as the weekly “set up” and “tearing down” of equipment and limited access (only weekends). The church wanted to develop children and youth ministry on Wednesday evenings, but did not have a meeting place available. However, in June of 2004, another congregation approached NLCC and offered to sell them their down town church building. Following extensive repair and remodeling, the store front church at 1295 – 2nd Avenue became the home of NLCC. A Saturday evening worship service was added and the church continued to grow with approx. 90-95 persons attending the two weekend services.
After being in Cumberland for 8 years and seeing NLCC come to life, Pastor Kevin and his wife Carol moved to another, new church plant in North Carolina. In Oct. 2009, Dennis and Lois Wright moved to Cumberland to serve as pastor at NLCC. Soon the building at 1295 – 2nd Avenue was too small for the number of children coming to attend Sunday School and AWANA. The worship services also continued to grow and a second Sunday Morning Service was added to give space for those attending the three worship services each weekend, but space for children’s ministries was simply not available.
God’s answer was to provide significant gifts to enable the church to both fix the leaking roof as well as to completely pay out the mortgage. Suddenly, the future looked different and NLCC began to examine different options to expand their building. However, God’s plan was a move to our present home at 825 – 8th Avenue, Cumberland. The Dome Church had been carefully and lovingly built by the previous congregation and they were willing to discuss, pray and eventually sell their building to NLCC. The sale of the old building provided enough income to do some repairs to the new church, to expand the parking lot and to pay off the short term mortgage. God is good and we are thankful. However, once again the space became tight. Through tons of prayer God called NLCC to build another ministry center. This time from the ground up. This new ministry center will feature a full size gym, classrooms, a children's wing, and much more. The ARK Ministry Center is set to open September 9th 2018.
Northern Lakes Church is a part of the Wesleyan denomination. For more information visit www.wesleyan.org.