South Dakota School for the Deaf

June 7, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/7/19

Contact: Rich Merkouris
Chair, Board of Directors, Sioux Falls Ministry Center
605-261-2587
r.merk@sfministrycenter.org

Sioux Falls Ministry Center Purchases School for the Deaf Campus

The Sioux Falls Ministry Center is pleased to announce the purchase of the School for the Deaf​ ​Campus on East 10th Street. The thirteen-acre site will more than double the square footage of​ ​the current Ministry Center location and will allow for the expansion of partnerships with other​ ​existing organizations The vision for this new location is to be a “mall of services” bringing​ ​together complementary organizations seeking to serve those in need in the community of​ ​Sioux Falls. Plans are also underway to have soccer fields and other amenities made available to​ ​the neighborhood and community. 

Rich Merkouris, Chair of the Board of Directors, said, “Despite current efforts, poverty​ ​continues to increase in our community and our faith in Jesus makes this impossible to ignore.​ ​We are excited about the capacity of this new location to bring more, existing ministries and​ ​agencies together in a great location for the benefit of the community. For us, this is all about​ ​living out the command of Jesus to love our neighbor. We believe this campus allows us to​ ​significantly increase the care for many of our neighbors in Sioux Falls in a holistic and healthy​ ​ way.”
The current Sioux Falls Ministry Center location has been in the Stewart building downtown for
the past nine years. That building launched a unique concept in which different ministries​ ​(individual 501c3’s) share a facility and work together to more effectively carry out their​ ​mission. There has consistently been seven to ten ministries as tenants of this location working​ ​together to serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community. Over that time,​ ​tens of thousands of individuals and families have been served through early childhood​ ​education, clothing, healthcare, transformation, housing assistance and many other programs.

Many of these ministries will move to the new location and Boys and Girls Club of Sioux Falls​ ​has also committed to being one of the tenants at the new location.​ ​The vision of the Ministry Center has been for ministries to focus on people and programs while​ ​the Center deals with facility and property. With the success of the core facility collaboration​ ​concept, this vision has expanded and over the past few years the Empower Church Network​ ​has been established as well a neighborhood revitalization program launched last fall in​ ​Pettigrew Heights focused on housing renewal. To better reflect the expansion of this mission​ ​and vision, the Sioux Falls Ministry Center will be renamed to Empower Sioux Falls in​ ​conjunction with the move to the new location. Over the next several months there will be a​ ​formal introduction to the new name as well as more detailed plans for the future of this site.