The kitchen at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Lincolnton has been resurrected. It wasn’t quite dead, but close. It hearkened back to the ‘60s and was the first kitchen the church put in. To say it was small is an understatement. Only two people could be in it at one time.
“There were no dishwashers,” Rev. Michael Collins said. “Except for the women who came in. Occasionally a man would come in to help.”
There was a gas stove that was “exciting” because it had to be lit with a match or a lighter. It would no longer self-ignite. The double ovens were apartment-sized so regular-sized cookie sheets wouldn’t fit in them.
“We had two ovens but they were virtually nonfunctional,” Collins said. “We had a refrigerator-freezer combination unit and a small ice maker. There was only one small pass-through window so trying to get food through to people was difficult.”
A kitchen renovation was desperately needed. Collins said that it was needed when he came to the church eight years ago. Enter John “Buzz” and Pat Cherry who took over the project from start to finish.
“They approached the church council and said ‘it was time,’” Collins said. “’We need to have a new kitchen. We’ve waited too long.’ Buzz said he’d be willing to oversee the project if it was authorized which he did. Every day that there were workers here through the summer, he was here.”
A congregational appeal was made for $75,000. More than that was pledged so the floors in the fellowship hall have been refinished and the walls were repaired and painted to match the color scheme of the kitchen.
“We took all of our existing pots, pans and cookie sheets and got rid of everything,” Collins said. “We had a brand new kitchen that was three times the size of the old one, let’s get new utensils, pots and pans. We had a Pampered Chef party and the congregation bought everything we needed and donated it to the church.”
Throughout the kitchen, there are very large, custom-made cupboards and a center island. The double ovens are full-sized. There’s a large refrigerator-freezer as well as a separate freezer.
The kitchen was finished last week and it will be dedicated Sept. 15, but it probably won’t be cooked in on that day. The plan is to use it for the next scheduled “God’s Family Table” which is a monthly program at Emmanuel Lutheran. This is a meal, fellowship, education and worship program which is cross-generational and open to the public.
“The kitchen and fellowship hall have been such an important part of our ministry and to have the women have a full-sized, well-appointed kitchen to cook in is gratifying,” Collins said. “We’re so appreciative of the congregation’s support to make it a reality.”