St. Mary of the Snows Steps Out in Faith
A 17,500 square-foot building might seem a lot for an 80 member church. Turns out it was the right size for what God had in mind.
In 2013 St. Mary of the Snows Anglican Church decided to move out of their former 5000 sq ft building on Silver Lake Road in search of more space for ministry. After two years of prayer and a couple possibilities that fell through,the opportunity to purchase the old Tula’s building in Eagle River presented itself. At 17,500 sq ft it seemed way too big. This required more prayer. God said it's 3 1/2 times the size of your old building. Use 1/3 for the church and 2/3's for ministry to the community. The Rock Mission Center was born. A separate 501 c 3 corporation The Rock Mission Center, Inc was established and tax exempt status was obtained. Located at 1019 E. Wall St. in Eagle River, the upper level of the facility is used as a church for St. Mary of the Snows, leaving most of the rest of the building open to be used for other community ministries.
In a major leap of faith, St. Mary's purchased the building by using all the money it had raised for a down payment and bought the building with the help of a mortgage from First National Bank. It took another $360,000 to convert the upstairs to a church, the ground floor into a large dining hall and commercial kitchen, 2500 sq ft on the back of the building into a Needs Ministry Space, and the basement into offices and Sunday School rooms. The entire $360,000 was donated in one year; over half of it coming from people who were not members of the church.
Immediately God began sending ministries to the Rock. Within a few months, the Northwoods Share Community Dinners committed to meeting there. They also located their free clothing ministry there. Other early ministries were Sunshine for Humanity, the Salvation Army, Ruby's Food Pantry, Healthline Screening, and Operation Christmas Child. Kathy Paul, the first outreach coordinator of “The Rock” summed it up like this, “We have been blessed with an incredible opportunity to serve as Jesus served right here in the community; our mission field is here.” That viewpoint continues to this day.
Because so much ministry was going on, and so many people were being served, an individual came forward and payed off the building's mortgage. God is soooo good. Come check us out and see all that God is doing.