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On the beach

DETROIT LAKES - When one door closes, another opens, or so the old adage says.

But in Detroit Lakes, that adage became quite literal this past spring, with the closing of the beachfront bar known as The Green Door -- and the subsequent opening of a Christian-themed music club, The Door, at the same location.

"We have a lease on the building for the summer, from Memorial Day through Labor Day," said Pastor David Bakke of Go-After Ministries, which established The Door as a community outreach project, in partnership with Christian Fellowship Church.

Every Saturday through the summer months, The Door offers a children's ministry program at 4 p.m., followed by a youth concert at 8 p.m., featuring some of the area's best-known Christian groups such as Noiseunion, Phoenix Awakening and the Sky Blues Band, along with younger, up-and-coming Christian bands such as Something Less Tragic and House of Light.

"The concerts are free -- although we do take donations," said Bakke, noting that attendance has soared to as many as 60 people "now that the word is starting to get out."

Though Christian Fellowship is one of the sponsors, both the children's ministry programs and concerts are open to anyone, Bakke added.

"We're bringing the Good News to folks in a non-aggressive way," he said. "We're trying to push back the generation gap, and reach out from one generation to another through music."

The impetus for this outreach effort lies in Bakke's own youth, growing up in the Detroit Lakes community with "a lot of well-meaning pastors and Christians" who tried unsuccessfully to reach him.

"As I was experimenting with drugs and getting into trouble, I never heard anyone simply tell me that God loved me," he said.

He hopes to get that simple message across to area youth, as well as to network with other youth ministry and church groups.

"This building is open to other church groups on any other day of the week (besides Saturdays) at no cost," he said.

Ultimately, Bakke hopes to continue with the youth outreach program after the lease on The Door runs out at the end of August.

"We plan to continue after Labor Day, we're just not sure where yet," Bakke said. "We're looking for a location."

But until then, the concerts will go on -- including a return appearance by Noiseunion on July 27. For more information about The Door, contact Bakke at 218-234-9405.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454