With the exception of some occasional scrounging of equipment and parts for other newspapers in the Gannett media empire and the morning deliveries of the Tribune from the print site in Helena, the Great Falls Tribune building has not seen much activity of late.
Over the past couple of months, though, members of New City Church have been hauling off everything from computer servers and office equipment to the massive Goss Metroliner printing press that, from 1979 until July 12, 2020 produced the Great Falls Tribune.
When Gannett put the building up for sale, the presses – both the 3 story tall Metroliner and a smaller Goss Community, along with a lot of “junk,” spare parts and other items accumulated over the years were left in place, all left for a new owner to contend with. “That was not a good selling point,” Pastor Nate told the Sun Times.
While there’s not much going on from the street view, inside the building is undergoing a transformation for a second life as the new home for New City Church.
The church had already acquired 19 acres for future construction, and when the riverside location was suggested. It was Nate’s wife, Rachel, that expressed the first interest in the Trib building, six months prior to the acquisition of the building. At first, it didn’t appear that the Trib building offered the parking space needed.
In the age of COVID, construction of a new church was too costly at this time, so refurbishing an existing building made more sense to the pastor and the congregation. And, as for the parking, a large undeveloped parcel of land came with the building that would allow plenty of space.
New City Church began as Great Falls Christian Center in 1981 when a small church in Alaska urged members Bob and Cindy Johnson to come to Montana and establish a new church. The Alaska church even provided some seed money to get the new church off the ground. Cindy is from Power, Montana.
Pastor Nate went on to marry Bob and Cindy Johnson’s daughter, Rachel.
In September of 1999, Nate was attending Great Falls Christian Center when, as he put it, “I saw what a healthy church could do… God was calling me to stay.”
Great Falls Christian Center later took on the name “New City Church.” According to Swanson, the name is derived from Isiah 61:4, “… they’ll rebuild the old ruins, raise a new city out of the wreckage. They’ll start over on the ruined cities, take the rubble left behind and make it new.”
– The Message paraphrase of the Bible.
Nate attended Full Bible Gospel Institute in Saskatchewan.
Pastoring runs in the family. Nate’…….