A break in a water main pipe at Trinity Lutheran Church in Copperas Cove may have been a sign from God that the needs of the church are even bigger than originally thought.

Members of the church body will decide in a congregational meeting later this month if the new education center planned for the church grounds needs to be bigger. Plans for a 5,000-square-foot facility have been drawn up and are ready to be presented to the city for building permits, said Mike Kriegel, chairman of the congregation.

The church held its annual German Sausage Festival in the Copperas Cove Civic Center Nov. 2 after a busted water pipe forced them out of the church facility. Funds raised by the event are earmarked for the building fund.

“After what the civic center offered us in terms of space, we realized we may need an even bigger education center and what we have planned may not be big enough,” Rev. Bernard Schey said. “It became abundantly clear that we needed to look at (the proposed size of the center).”

The sausage festival, a fundraiser for the church for more than 40 years, raised $20,000 with approximately $10,000 in expenses. Kriegel said the festival’s new location made it hard to estimate how many people attended the festival, but by 1 p.m., 2,500 pounds of raw sausage were gone. Within four hours, 4,000 pounds of sausage had been purchased.

The new education center will be built on the 4-5 acre church campus, on the site of the current church office building which will be demolished. The old education center will be torn down and the area will be converted to a parking lot.

The new education building will be used for Sunday school for which the attendance has been as high as 80 and for Vacation Bible School which averages 50 children every summer. The facility will include a fellowship hall adequate for church dinners. But under the current architectural plans, the new building will not be big enough to host the sausage festival next year.

“We definitely have to look at whether or not we want to go bigger,” Kriegel said. “If not, we can always go back to the civic center next year (for the sausage festival). What the facility offered more than met our needs this year and was very nice.”

The new education building under the current architectural plans is estimated to cost $750,000.

Contact Wendy Sledd at wsledd@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7476

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