The Rev. Lance Langenberg, pastor, stood in the foyer of the former New Hope Assembly of God Church on a recent summer day. He has big dreams for the new Life Stream Church, located at 1330 E. Main St.
Based in Washington, Life Stream Church is launching its first multisite.
With Langenberg at the helm, the church is undergoing some major changes, from a complete interior remodel to a name change, congregation growth and him serving as the new pastor.
Life Stream Church, which has been in Washington for 50 years and formerly was First Assembly of God Church, had a desire to plant a church in Union.
They approached New Hope’s pastor, Carl Bay, who said he was ready to retire. Rather than plant a new church of the same denomination, the leadership and congregations of both churches worked together to merge. New Hope had a dozen parishioners while Life Stream has about 300. A group of about 40 church members who live in the Union area volunteered to help start the church.
The successful vote to merge took place May 7 and Langenberg’s first day was May 21. Construction got underway immediately, with an ambitious goal of completion by Sept. 17.
The nursery has been moved upstairs, bathrooms have been remodeled, tile has been replaced, as well as the church sign and front doors. A fresh coat of paint has given the church a more modern feel.
The mauve carpet has been updated throughout the church and pews will be replaced with chairs in the sanctuary.
The parking lot will be redone in the coming weeks.
Langenberg, 29, grew up attending the First Assembly of God Church (now Life Stream Church) in Washington.
He worked a variety of jobs before he was called into the ministry, most recently at an eye care center.
“I really felt called into ministry several years ago,” he said.
As he was going through that transition, in September 2014, he was called into active duty. Langenberg has been in the Army Reserve since age 23. He was stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
While in Texas, he began taking credentialing classes to become a minister. When he returned home, he completed the mentorship and interview process to complete his certificate of ministry.
Also during that time, he asked Life Stream Church Pastor Paul Scheperle for more responsibilities at church.
He served as head usher, hosted small group Bible studies at his home and more.
When the new opportunity came about, Langenberg was called to Union to serve.
He will complete his degree in church ministry from Evangel University in Springfield this December.
He and his wife, Sarah, live in Villa Ridge. They have three sons, Elijah, 3, Michael, 5, and Lane, 6.
Langenberg said he’s excited to see the building renovations complete.
And while the changes mark a new era for the church, it’s been a little tough for those who were at the church before the merging began.
Langenberg took the members on a tour, allowed them to write Scripture on the walls and floor and told them the time for weeping is over, it’s now time to rejoice — the message is one from Scripture, in Nehemiah.
“They’re very excited,” he said.
In the future, Langenberg said he wants to take advantage of the church’s proximity to the high school, helping in any capacity it can, as well as with East Central College through Christian outreach.
“Whatever Union needs, I want Life Stream Church to be able to facilitate that,” Langenberg said.
A ribbon cutting for Life Stream has been set for Thursday, Sept. 7.
An open house is set for Saturday, Sept. 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. Visitors are invited to tour the building, as well as meet staff and volunteers.
The church relaunch will be Sunday, Sept. 17.
During construction, services are being held downstairs.
Services are held Sundays at 10 a.m. and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
All are welcome.