After the space was closed down following a religious freedom issue, new owners of the Gortz Haus Gallery building can now pick and choose weddings without penalty.
Just a few months ago the Gortz Haus shut it’s doors after the owners refused to host a same-sex marriage, saying it conflicted with their religious beliefs.
They chose to stop holding wedding ceremonies all together after a fine from the civil rights commission and being told they had to allow same-sex ceremonies. The loss in revenue caused them to eventually close their doors.
However, wedding bells my soon ring in that building again. It’s been sold to an Evangelical Christian Church, Harvest Bible Chapel, that shares the same beliefs as the former owners.
Senior Pastor Ryan Jorgenson said former owners Dick and Betty Ogaard have been members of their congregation for about 9 months and approached him with the option to purchase the building.
“The Ogaard’s love Jesus, our church loves Jesus,” said Jorgenson. “We got a deal on the property, but the Ogaards are being treated well in this too.”
He says the Ogaards are active members in the church and have been closely involved with the renovation process.
As a non-profit, the church says eventually it will hold weddings in the building.
“Marriage is between one man, one woman and we as a church that’s the weddings we’ll hold,” said Jorgenson. “We’re still figuring out the details but we will probably start with weddings of our members.”
Jorgenson says despite the rebirth, his congregation will remember what happened to the former owner’s business.
“We have a country that we should have the right and freedom to practice according to our religious beliefs and be able to decline the practices forced on us,” said Jorgenson.
Sunday the doors will open for the first time, with services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.