Three LDS churches invite community to open houses

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Maricopa’s three The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints churches are hosting open houses through April 14 to strengthen ties to the community.

With 3,306 LDS members living in the seven church wards in Maricopa, the church and its members are a big part of the city and want others in the community to know they are always welcome under their roof.

“Under our signs that say Church of the Latter-day Saints it says ‘visitors welcome.’ People are welcome to come in and see what our churches are like,” said Eric Goettl, first counselor in the stake presidency.

In the past, the church had held open houses when churches in Homestead and Tortosa were finished being built, “but that was a few years ago,” Goettl said. After seeing the success that a new church in Gilbert had after an open house in February, leaders in the Maricopa stake decided it would be a good time to open local doors.

Guests visiting the churches are guided by church elders, members of the church pursuing their two-year missions.

“I invite everyone to try and make it to see the church and share in the experience,” said David Norwick, 18, a church elder from Wisconsin.

Norwick, who is seven months into his mission, said, “This church is a lot like my church back home. People are extremely friendly and like getting to know you because it’s a small city.”

The open houses are 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. through April 14.

“Anyone who wants to view our facilities is more than welcome,” Norwick said.