A History of Impacting the Seven Rivers Region
Our church began as a church plant by a church in Arcadia, Wisconsin, in 1984. Mark Clements and his wife Paula were among the initial group of about a dozen members hungry to receive the Word of God. Later that year, he was called to move to La Crosse and become pastor of the church, which was to be called Living Word Christian Church.
Pastor and Mrs. Clements obeyed the call of God, leaving the family farm where he worked at the time. Initially, he worked an additional job while pastoring as our church grew large enough to support him.
In 1985, our church moved out of it's first location in a hotel ballroom in north La Crosse into a mini-mall in south La Crosse. In 1987, we purchased our first property, a former laundromat on 19th Street. After growing out of this location, we purchased a former Lutheran church building on 16th and Cass Streets in 1991.
We entered our current facility in Fall of 2004. A former steel fabrication plant and warehouse on Ward Avenue, the lengthy renovation of the property was done almost completely by the members of the church.
Throughout our history, we have had consistent and steady growth both in numbers and in outreach. Our mission has always been to impact our region with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. Today, we have expanded to operate Children of the Lord Christian Pre-School and Day Care and Youth Alive Christian Teen Center, and transmit God's Word on the airwaves with Pastor Clements' daily radio spot "What Saith the Scripture," and weekly television broadcast "The Word of the Lord."
Living Word began negotiations to purchase the former John Leinfelder Building and property in July, 2003. The property address is 2015 Ward Avenue in La Crosse and includes 3 acres of land. The building at that time was 16,200 square feet and had been used for steel fabrication and welding.
The building has been completely remodeled and expanded to 21,600 square feet with an additional 1,200 square feet of covered drive through & walkway. The building houses the church's sanctuary with seating for 600+, a teen center (Youth Alive Christian Teen Center), a spacious kitchen and fellowship hall that houses the church's pre-school & day care (Children of the Lord Christian Pre-School & Day Care), a children's education wing, and an administration wing. The main entryway features the church's information center and cappuccino bar and provides access to the church's bookstore. Also, the 60 x 60 area in front of the building showcases a flower garden and fountain with a circle walkway and benches.
The property to the rear of the building has been concreted to accommodate parking for approximately 200 automobiles. The balance of the property will be groomed for park benches, picnic tables, a gazebo, and a playground area.