Evangelical Friends Church plans opening
Music is a familiar sound at the Tonganoxie Evangelical Friends Church.
Though the church's grand opening, set for Dec. 11, still is a month away, Sunday morning worship services already are being held in the 112-year-old building at Fourth and Shawnee.
"We are having a brief 10:30 to 11:30 service now," said the Rev. Mike Waggoner.
"We're doing some work inside with construction so it's not real convenient."
Waggoner and his wife, Diana, play in a bluegrass gospel band.
"Some of the music is going to be coming in, with old-fashioned campfire gospel type songs," Waggoner said. "Maybe even a little bit of cowboy-ish kind of gospel as well."
Waggoner, who plays the 12-string guitar, six-string guitar, bass guitar and banjo, said the group includes two members who play lap steels, two who play dobro guitars, and another who plays banjo, guitar and fiddle.
And Waggoner said, while the traditional Friends churches hold quiet, contemplative services, his weekly services will include sermons.
"We're a little more mainstream Christian," Waggoner said. "Our services will center around the preaching hour and teaching the word of God, as opposed to unprogrammed services, the quiet hour."
But, Waggoner said that eventually, the church may hold an earlier Sunday morning service that will be a quiet time of prayer.
Waggoner said his sermons would vary.
"Whatever the Lord has in my heart," Waggoner said. "Sometimes it is hellfire and brimstone and oftentimes it is dealing with contemporary issues, family issues, relationship issues, those kind of things -- making the Bible contemporary."
And, Waggoner said, plans are underway to provide Sunday school classes for all ages, a nursery, a youth program and a summer Bible school program.
Meanwhile, about a month remains for construction to be completed at the church and parsonage, which is next door to the church.
Waggoner said about $35,000 will have gone into making improvements on the buildings.
Major changes include air conditioning in the church and new heating systems in both buildings. A handicapped accessible entrance and restroom has been created at the church.
And, work has been done to repair water damage in the church basement.
He noted there's been cooperation among all the workers.
"It's just amazing how things have come together," Waggoner said. "Everything has worked out really nicely."
And while upgrades have been made, particularly at the church, the building has the same historic feel.
"We want to try to maintain the historical presence at the church and not change it much," Waggoner said. "But at the same time modernize it for convenience."
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