St. Mark's Church Sold to Kilbourne Group - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

St. Mark's Church Sold to Kilbourne Group

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Wednesday nights are busy nights at many churches, however, a historic one in downtown Fargo is sitting empty. St. Mark's Lutheran has handed over the keys to a new owner.

"We hate to leave it, but we couldn't care for it."

Behind the brick walls are a lot of memories and a lot of problems.

"It seemed to be a mountain of property issues that were happening, one after another."

After two years of consideration St. Mark's Lutheran Church has sold it's building, to the Kilbourne Group.

"And after 101 years of history in this building, this church might not be a place of worship anymore."

"Sometimes when we have saved buildings from being destroyed we have preserved the opportunity to become something in the future, but their new use has nothing to did with what their past use was," explains Doug Burgum.

Burgum and his group are asking for your help in what you would like to see here.

"Anyone of any age we would love to hear their ideas of what they think this space could be in the future."

If you log onto their Facebook page, you can let them know what you think, or just stop by in person.

"Sometimes the general population might have a better idea of what something should become than what we might ourselves."

They even asked the congregation what they thought.

"We are all over, all over the map on that."

The building has faithfully served the downtown neighborhood, the homeless and the hungry.

"If there was some type of group that could come in that could continue that type of work."

Franek would like to see the building continue to give back.

"Everyone has their pet project and program."

St. Mark's would like to point out they are still a church with an active congregation. Elim Lutheran Church, which is right down the street, is allowing St. Mark's to hold services in their building for the time being.

St. Mark's is considering it's option and could possibly buy another building in the future.


It has been in the hands of its congregation for 101 years now, but now ownership of St. Mark's Lutheran Church is being handed over to Fargo's Kilbourne Group. The firm known for renovating historic buildings downtown has purchased the property on Tuesday, October 15. 

The church was put up for sale about six months ago, after the congregation spent about two years mulling over what to do with the aging building. Elna Solvang, of St. Mark's, tells Valley News Live Kilbourne's strong focus on preservation helped make the sale less difficult.

Kilbourne group is looking for your input about what should be done with the church. A display board will put up outside the church for people to write their ideas on, or you can go to the the firm's Facebook page.

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