Lutherans join together to build Hope Landing house in Ellenton

jajones1@bradenton.comJanuary 17, 2014 

MANATEE -- Four Manatee and Sarasota congregations affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America are working together to build the ninth of 18 planned Habitat for Humanity Homes at Hope Landing.

The groundbreaking is planned for noon Saturday at 1647 38th Ave. E., Ellenton.

Congregations stepping up to raise $70,000 for building materials as well as providing the labor to construct the three-bedroom, two-bath home include Gloria Dei Lutheran, Redeemer Lutheran, St. Armands Key Lutheran and Trinity Lutheran.

This is the first Lutheran build at Hope Landing. Other denominations, including Methodist and Presbyterian, have also built Habitat homes there.

Also partnering on the project are the directors of Our Daily Bread, some of whom are Lutheran clergy.

Our Daily Bread has assisted Habitat in the past by stocking the pantries of Habitat homes with food, said Diana Shoemaker, executive director of Manatee Habitat for Humanity.

"Christian principles are the basis of the organization," Shoemaker said Thursday. "Churches coming together to help build a home has been one of the building blocks for Habitat through the years."

Completion of the green, sustainable home is forecast for October.

Gloria Dei previously partnered year with Habitat in supplying household items and stocking food from Our Daily Bread.

Pastor Rosemary Wheeler Backer of Gloria Dei wanted to form a Lutheran build group, but knew her congregation was not large enough to tackle the job alone. Eventually, St. Armands Key Lutheran in Sarasota and Trinity and Redeemer in Bradenton

came on board.

"We went from helping to make a house a home by supplying the household goods to saying, hey could we possibly build a house from scratch?" Backer said.

Roger Arnholt of St. Armands Key has agreed to coordinate the project for the Lutheran congregations.

James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee reporter, can be contacted at 941-745-7053 or on Twitter @jajones1.

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