Eleven years after it has moved into its current home, K-State Wesley has paid off its $1 million debt.
“We had some very nice, really wonderful gifts to help us be able to do that,” said the Rev. Jim Reed, development director for the Manhattan ministry. “But we also had lots and lots of people who supported it. It turned out really well.”
The “Finish the Dream” campaign, which began in January 2017, completed the final half of retiring the debt, Reed said.
Reed credited the Kansas Area United Methodist Foundation for its help in the effort.
“With campus ministry, you have a limited constituency,” Reed said. “We built up a database of past alumni and other people who supported campus ministry, and by gosh we got it done. … It’s a case where the whole conference and our people here in Manhattan worked together.”
Moving into the building at 1001 Sunset Ave. meant that K-State Wesley could begin housing students as well as serving them in ministry.
Reed said although the capacity is 50, generally 10 to 35 students are housed at K-State Wesley.
Chelsea Shrack, Kansas State campus minister, remembers being a student representative on the K-State Wesley board 13 years ago when a residential program was discussed.
“After voting on that so long ago, it’s cool to see it come to fruition,” said Shrack, who worked as an intern for K-State Wesley before graduating from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
“I was really in favor of this far-off dream of adding a residential piece to our ministry,” said Shrack, in her fourth year as campus minister. “We’re excited and kind of blown away that it’s time for Phase II. We kind of didn’t think we’d be there yet.”
Phase II, she said, would include replacing the HVAC and water heater units from the 1990s and fixing the building’s flat roof.
“We’re hoping eventually to put a roof with a slope,” Shrack said. “Right now, we’re constantly repairing different pieces of the roof because they leak.”
K-State Wesley serves about 75 students per semester, she said.
Shrack is making plans for the fall semester and how different campus ministry might look because of the coronavirus pandemic and gathering restrictions.
Ideas have included worshipping outside to keep social distance, and small group meetings via Zoom rather than in person.
“It’s hard to imagine how everything’s going to work,” she said.
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