Bethel Lutheran Church

  • LOCATION: Brush Prairie, WA
  • COMPLETED: 2016


The congregation of Bethel Lutheran Church undertook a remodel and addition to their building with the goals of better defining the church’s entrance, enhancing its street presence, and modernizing the offices and children’s areas.  The project resulted in the demolition of an existing classroom/office wing; a 2,800 sq ft addition; 1,200 sq ft of renovation to the existing building; a new covered entrance and drop-off lane; and exterior upgrades including accessible parking, new landscaping, and exterior finish upgrades.

The building addition includes three classrooms for general use.  Operable partitions separate the classrooms, enabling the spaces to be combined to create one larger space for meetings or separated into smaller spaces for Sunday School classrooms.  The new wing also contains a Nursery for babies and toddlers.  This space was considered critical to the program to support the church’s goal in drawing young families to the church.

Exterior modifications include a new church entrance featuring exposed wood glu-lam beams and wood decking that create a warm and inviting atmosphere.  The new entry extends out further than the original entry, making it more prominent.  The use of wood and new exterior lighting draws the eye, making it easily-identifiable.

Another key point to the church’s exterior is the use of stone.  Built in the early 1900s, the entry to the existing sanctuary is sided in Camas stone.  The design team chose to incorporate stone on portions of the new addition to highlight the existing stone and provide a common language between the old and new.  The stone ties to the church’s name; “Bethel” means House of God, originating from a story in the Bible which involves a stone.  It also reinforces the church’s after-school program names Rock Solid.