The Alliance Returns to Sioux Falls, South Dakota

mercy-churchMercy Church (C&MA) will hold its first official service in Sioux Falls on September 11. This will be the first Alliance church service held in the city since 1999, when the district closed the only C&MA church in the town. As pastor Shelby Boese prepares to launch the new church, he is receiving help from pastors and parishoners outside The Alliance. 

Calvary Assembly of God Church has opened its doors when the fledgling congregation needed a meeting place. Celebrate Wesleyan Church has supplied leadership training, equipment, and support. And Church of the Good Shepherd (Episcopal Church USA) is partnering with Mercy Church in offering the Alpha Course—an 11-week introduction to Christianity—to the community. 

Mercy Church, which will use Axtell Park Middle School as its initial home, originally looked at Good Shepherd church as a possible location for Sunday services. The idea was suggested after Boese met the church’s pastor, Tim Fountain, at an interfaith gathering. 

That idea did not work out, but the pastors felt a bond they wanted to foster, despite the fact that Fountain comes from a liturgical church while Boese’s church is more charismatic. Both churches have something to offer the other, Fountain says. Mercy has energy, enthusiasm, and insights into people in their 20s and 30s. Good Shepherd has members who excel at hospitality. “We hope to draw from each other’s strengths.” 

“It’s cross-pollination,” Fountain says. “We’re learning about emphatic evangelism from them, and they’re seeing Christian hospitality and community that has been lived out for decades.” 

When Mercy works with other churches, Boese says, members want to make sure it’s beneficial for both congregations. “If people are able to see a lot of different churches, all worshiping the same God, working together, that’s a powerful testimony for the church in Sioux Falls,” Boese says.


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