Blessed to be a Blessing | Iowa United Methodist Foundation

Inspirational Renovations at Lovely Lane UMC

December 8, 2022

Members at Lovely Lane UMC in Cedar Rapids began in 2016 with the goal of ensuring the future of their church’s ministries for the next 50 years. They then developed a renovation plan and held a capital fundraising campaign in the hopes that an updated building would help accomplish their goal. Each renovation was designed around four smaller objectives which supported the main goal of continuing ministry: make the church welcoming and accessible to all, create improved efficiency and flow, create a safe space for children and make improvements to the sanctuary and gathering places. Architects and church members spent nearly a year creating a Facilities Assessment and Master Plan for the building and presented it in August of 2018.

It was around this time that their building renovation team started to consider financing options. They reached out to the Building Fund Trust at the Iowa United Methodist Foundation (IUMF) and learned about our loan program. The Building Fund Trust provides loans to churches across Iowa for almost any type of renovation, repair or upgrade. Our loans typically are more flexible than other lenders, and we only work with churches so we tend to understand their finances better. With a project as large as the one at Lovely Lane, it was determined a construction loan would be the best fit. Papers were signed and work officially began in April of 2020.

Sanctuary renovations in progress.

Over the next year, even with setbacks due to the pandemic and derecho, the team at Lovely Lane and their contractors achieved a great deal:

  • New HVAC system, fire protection system and security system
  • New windows, siding and insulation (including derecho damage)
  • Complete parking lot replacement including new lighting and islands
  • New flooring, paint and furnishings in sanctuary and gathering areas
  • Pew refurbishment, new lighting and new A/V equipment in sanctuary
  • Complete bathroom replacement, making them ADA-compliant
  • New street signs including a digital sign

While this was taking place, the building renovation team maintained a website so members could be kept up-to-date on progress and pledge additional funds if so moved. Check it out to see more photos and video of all the work they did: Finally, in July 2021, they held an Open House to show the congregation the changes and improvements that had been made. In August they held a Grand Reopening worship service to celebrate not only the completed renovations, but also being able to worship together in-person again!

First in-person worship in the newly renovated sanctuary!

The purpose of the Building Fund Trust is to help churches finance their missional dreams, so we loved seeing this project come to fruition. The mission of Lovely Lane UMC focuses on those who gather in the name of Jesus Christ reflecting God’s light to others and being beacons of hope. IUMF is proud to have been a part of their mission and hopes to continue financing ministry across Iowa. If your church has a major project or purchase coming up, visit our website or call us to learn more: 515-974-8927 or