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Participating in the groundbreaking for the new High Tide Church (HTC) in Dagsboro are HTC Building Committee members, from left: Terry Davis, Les Grow, Kristi Kitchen, Pret Dyer, Lew Reeves, Tanya Ehlers and HTC pastor the Rev. Andy Ehlers.

High Tide Church held a groundbreaking ceremony at 2 p.m., on Sunday, May 16, for its new building, which is being constructed on Nine Foot Road in Dagsboro, about a quarter-mile from the intersection of Route 113 and Nine Foot Road. Approximately 150 people attended, including church leaders and members.

The Rev. Andy Ehlers of Dagsboro, pastor of the church, opened the groundbreaking ceremony with welcoming remarks and prayer, which was followed by music led by Worship Pastor Chris Hardy, of Ocean City, Md. Ehlers then highlighted the significance of 12 large stones — symbolic cornerstones — being incorporated onto the High Tide campus. Reading from biblical books of Joshua and Acts, Ehlers said, “Jesus is our cornerstone, and our new High Tide Church home is built upon the truth of Jesus.”

Participating in the ceremonial groundbreaking were church leaders and the building committee members, who included Terry Davis, Les Grow, Kristi Kitchen, Pret Dyer, Lew Reeves, Tanya Ehlers and Ehlers.

“For nearly 20 years, High Tide Church has gathered together, but we’ve never had a building of our own,” Ehlers said. “God has always given us a place to meet and worship Him, but we feel God is calling us to construct our new High Tide home.

“Church is not just the building; it’s the people,” said Ehlers. “While we’re excited to finally build a structure we can call ‘home,’ we know the building is a tool to be used to glorify God.”

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A rendering depicts the future home of High Tide Church in Dagsboro. Construction is expected to be complete by the spring of 2022.

The 10,000-square-foot, single-story facility will be a central location from which the congregation can more easily meet to worship, centralize its food pantry, which serves the community, and conduct Bible studies for all ages, including teen and children’s ministries. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2021 and wrap up by the spring of 2022.

Thanks to the community

“We’re so appreciative of the locations, across Sussex County, that have provided us a place to meet over the years,” noted Ehlers.

The church currently meets at the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company’s fire hall — its second time to meet at that location. Prior to the pandemic, the church had been meeting at John M. Clayton Elementary School in Dagsboro since 2013. From 2005 to 2013, the church congregated at the Roxana Volunteer Fire Company; and from October 2002 to 2005, at Lord Baltimore Elementary School in Ocean View. When the church first launched in July 2002, the congregants met at the home of Ehlers and his wife, Tanya.

“We know this building is God’s plan for our church,” he said. “Despite the challenges we’ve faced during the last year with COVID — online-only services, and then a combination of online and multiple services with limited numbers of congregants, and some people losing jobs and loved ones — our members have willingly given during these difficult times. Our MORE campaign has hit its initial milestone that has enabled us to start construction, and we’re excited to make this building a reality.”

Visit the High Tide Church website for more information, at https://hightidechurch.org/home.