Minnesota Megachurch to Resume Services, Weeks After Closing

Parishioners attended what at the time was the last worship services at North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills in March. (JERRY HOLT)
Parishioners attended what at the time was the last worship services at North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills in March. (JERRY HOLT)
North Heights Lutheran will have services again this Sunday; Roseville site will also reopen. 

The demise of a one-time vibrant but troubled north metro megachurch has proved to be short-lived.

New leadership at North Heights Lutheran Church in Arden Hills announced in an e-mail to hundreds of worshipers that services will resume this weekend, according to John Tolo, a longtime member who received the news Sunday.

The e-mail added that the church’s Roseville location, which was closed last summer, also will reopen. The church board has stepped aside, the e-mail continued, and has been replaced by a council of elders.

Tolo, a member since 1993 who does missionary work in St. Paul, said he’s excited about the turn of events and confident of a long run ahead for North Heights.

It was barely more than three weeks ago when some 900 people came to witness what supposed to be the final service at North Heights, a house of worship with a 69-year history that once boasted more than 7,000 members.

North Heights had been in a “downward death spiral” for more than a decade due to a bloated staff, overbuilding, exaggerated membership numbers and expenses far outweighing income, former pastor Mindy Bak said last month.

The church splintered into two factions in recent years, most dramatically so after Bak and the church council closed the Roseville location last summer and laid off half the staff.

The breakaway group, whose leaders call themselves bondservants and which claims more than 1,000 members, pulled their financial support after the Roseville closing.

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SOURCE: Star Tribune

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