Loma Linda Indonesian Members Lay First Stones for New Sanctuary
Loma Linda Indonesian church members held a ceremony on Father's Day, June 20, of laying the first foundation stones to initiate the construction of their new sanctuary. Members young and old attended, dressed in colorful, traditional Indonesian wear, such batik, kebaya, kain panjang and sarong.
“Today is the culmination of years of dreaming,” Clifford Lim, interim pastor, said in his opening remarks. “God has blessed our church in so many ways; if it weren’t for His providence and leading, we would not be celebrating this monumental milestone today.”
In 2006, Albert James Pardede, senior pastor, started to think about building a new sanctuary, and on July 15, 2006, members at a church business session voted to build one. Two days later, they submitted a letter of intent to Southeastern California Conference. Then some building permit problems arose, preventing the construction of a building with a seating capacity of 1,000 on the property. The plan was delayed.
On March 7, 2009, members purchased 1.99 acres of adjacent land north of their property, which cleared up parking issues and allowed them to build a church with up to 1,100 seating capacity. But then they were delayed by more stringent requirements for flood control after Hurricane Katrina.
The church received a conditional use permit and building permits from San Bernardino County on April 21, 2010, and scheduled a stone-laying ceremony for Father’s Day.
“Let’s continue what we have started,” said William Silalahi, who chairs the building committee, at the ceremony. He added, “God must have had a good reason for delaying the project. May God lead us in unity, and let’s work together, all for the glory of God.”
Amos Simorangkir, project manager, said that construction of the 98-foot by 95-foot sanctuary was scheduled to start on July 19 and is expected to take approximately eight months.
“What God has done and what God will do, that’s what we’re celebrating today,” said Sandra Roberts, conference executive secretary, in her devotional message, “Building a church is a great sacrifice, but remember, it’s temporary — this world is not our home.”
Rudy Bermudez, conference vice president for Asian-Pacific ministries, offered a prayer of dedication before the stone-laying ceremony began.
Clifford Lim, Winker Sitanggang, William Silalahi and Amos Simorangkir uncovered the ground where the stones would be laid. Roberts laid the first stone, followed by Bermudez; George Atiga, Pacific Union Asian-Pacific ministries director; representatives from the church and its various departments; and guests.
The ceremony was also attended by Thomas Staples, conference treasurer; Manuel Vitug, conference associate youth director for children’s ministries; Houtman Sinaga, from the Southern Asia-Pacific Division; Indonesian church pastors; and other guests.
After the cutting of nasi tumpeng, cone-shaped yellow rice, as a symbol of blessing, members and guests enjoyed a fellowship lunch together.
The church of more than 800 listed members is located at 10827 California Street, Redlands. Members will continue to meet in their fellowship hall until their new sanctuary is completed.