For Generations to Come:
2021 Capital Campaign

From one generation to another, First Lutheran remains faithful to its mission to be a place of worship, growth in faith, and Spirit-led service for the sake of bearing witness to the saving work of Jesus Christ.

To accomplish this mission into the future:

  • We need a space for worship that is accessible and hospitable to people of all ages and abilities.
  • We need a building that reflects our witness and welcome to God’s unconditional love for all people, offering ease of access to all parts of our building and creating a wider variety of spaces for congregational and community gatherings.
  • We need a building that provides updated and flexible space for spiritual growth and faith formation opportunities for all ages and experience levels.
  • We need a building that demonstrates our ongoing commitment to serving ministries through the creation of dedicated social ministry space for new community initiatives and partnerships.

Sunday, April 18
Campaign Launch

Sunday, May 9
Campaign Response

Summer 2021
Development and Congregational
Approval of Final Building Plans

Fall 2021
Anticipated Ground-Breaking

Sunday Worship

April 18 & 25, May 2 & 9 

Sunday worship during the campaign weeks will include special prayers, hymns, and reflections from FLC members. Hear the stories and voices across the generations as we prepare to worship with generations to come.

Download the weekly For Generations to Come liturgy here.

Daily Devotional

By FLC and community members

Subscribe to the FLC email list to receive these devotions in your inbox, or read them via Facebook, Twitter, or below:

First Lutheran Church was founded in 1863 as a congregation that would serve the needs of a new generation of students and immigrants in the Decorah community. The oldest part of the church building was constructed in 1873. This building was designed specifically as a gathering place in and for the community. The FLC building has evolved and expanded over time to meet new needs and to increase its capacity for ministry across generations.
The First Lutheran church building, with its iconic steeple, is an identity marker for both the congregation and the Decorah community. It serves as a symbol of God’s love expressed through the congregation and its faithful ministries in and for the sake of the community. We are committed to being a congregation where all people can find a welcome.
For our ministries to thrive into the future that God is placing ahead of us, we need a building that better serves the needs of our congregation and community. Our building project aims to improve the physical, spiritual, and emotional accessibility of First Lutheran Church, now and for generations to come.
A picture of the exterior of the building from Broadway Street looking north.

Videos: Worship Reflections & Testimonials

Frequently Asked Questions

Building Project

Why is FLC undertaking a building renovation project?

In short, because God’s mission for FLC has outgrown our facilities. The current building presents significant accessibility and hospitality challenges and lacks the space necessary to house and run both congregational programming and necessary community outreach ministries.

Additionally, in December 2018, First Lutheran Church discovered serious structural concerns with our 140+ year old sanctuary roof. 

The congregation vacated the sanctuary for about six months while the roof and walls were stabilized and made safe to occupy once again. These initial stabilizations are indefinitely secure, but they are not a “fix” for the roofing structure, nor do they address our need for a facility that can support our ministry goals now and into the future.


What is the scope of the project?

We are proud to be partnering with Kueny Architects for this building project. The proposed renovation includes a rebuild of the internal sanctuary roofing structure, an accompanying sanctuary redesign, a complete remodel of the education/office wing of the building, and an addition to the building that will include a large narthex on the main floor and a new wing off the lower (fellowship hall) level of the building.

 Visit to view floor plans and renderings provided by our architects. Poster-sized versions of these images are on display in the fellowship hall and fireside room. You are welcome to stop by church during office hours to view them at your leisure.

What is the cost of the project?

The proposed project will cost $5 million, which includes around $700,000 contingency.

What is the timeline for the project

Final building plans will be approved in late spring/early summer 2021, and construction will begin in fall 2021. Construction is anticipated to take 10-14 months. 

What will the sanctuary look like?

There are some decisions yet to be made regarding the liturgical and interior design of the sanctuary, including a) the altar, pulpit, and other historic liturgical furnishings; b) pews and/or other seating; c) interior design elements such as painting and color scheme; d) music and acoustical concerns.

We are working toward a final design which will update the space’s functionality, technology, and aesthetics while honoring its history. The congregation will have the opportunity to vote on this plan late this spring or early summer.

What will be the environmental impact of this building project?

Our plan preserves the bulk of the existing outer brick walls of the building. This keeps an enormous amount of brick from being discarded.

The proposed addition to the education/office wing will increase the amount of roofing appropriate for a solar array, and so we are already making plans to expand our existing array. The internal remodeling of the building will allow us to improve the energy efficiency of our building.

We are grateful to be working with architects who care about and excel at energy efficiency work. Recently, one of their buildings was listed among the top ten energy efficient buildings in Iowa.

How can I learn more about the project or ask further questions?

Follow this link to watch a video of the building renovation presentation from November 8, 2020. In this video, taskforce members Troy Whitehill and Adrian Walter, as well as architect Jon Wallencamp, walk you through the images and proposed plans.

Visit the Building Updates  and Capital Campaign pages on our church website for further information.

You may also contact if you have additional questions.

Capital Appeal

How long will the capital campaign run?

For Generations to Come will be a three-year campaign running from Fall 2021 to Fall 2024. 

Will there be the need for another appeal in three years?

It is not uncommon for congregations to run an additional campaign at the end of the three years to help eliminate some or all debt at the end of the campaign. This will be determined near the end of the building project.

What if I have difficulty fulfilling my response to the appeal?

We understand that, because of life circumstances, you may wish to adjust your response during the middle of the appeal. If this becomes necessary, just contact the church office (563-382-2638) to inform us of your new response amount.

What happens if we don't reach our goal?

FLC will move forward with a building project to address our current building’s shortcomings. The scope of that project will be determined in part by the amount of resources raised. If necessary, we will make adjustments to the current plan.

How does my gift to the campaign affect my regular giving to the church?

It is important that gifts to For Generations to Come are above and beyond your current giving. The building is one necessary tool for mission, but so, too, are our staff, programming, ministry, supplies, etc.

Are there any advantages if I choose not to spread my giving of three years and instead give it all up front?

There are huge advantages to this. Upfront gifts allow us to avoid short-term construction financing expenses. 

How much should I give?

Leadership is praying for you as you make this decision. We are asking that you consider a gift that is given both sacrificially and joyfully. If your gift does not bring you joy, then consider another amount. 

Some people will use For Generations to Come as an opportunity to practice tithing (giving 10% of income) for three years. Others determining their current level of giving, they grow in their generosity by increasing their gifts by 1% of their income per year.

How will I be asked to give?

Response packets will be mailed to members the week prior to Response Sunday, May 9. During worship that Sunday, you will be given an opportunity to prayerfully complete that card and then bring it to an all-church celebration event following worship. 

We encourage everyone to return their response cards during our celebration event. If you cannot attend, response cards may also be mailed to or dropped off in the church office following May 9. You will also have the opportunity to fill out your response card online.

May gifts other than cash be made?

Yes. People often give stocks, Required Minimum Distributions from their IRA or appreciated assets. Contact your financial advisor to discuss these options. If you don’t have an advisor or would like to talk to somebody else about these options, please contact the church office and we will help walk you through these options.