There will be food, singing and speeches Saturday when members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints break ground for the addition to the Dayton chapel.
But Cheri Scott remembers a time when changes came with less fanfare.
Scott moved with her husband, Dave, and two oldest children to Dayton in 1979. They lived on the ground floor of the 23-room Golden Eagle Boarding House - the 11 upstairs rooms didn't have electricity.
Staunch members of the LDS church, they were dismayed to find there was no organized branch in the area.
So they got authorization to begin meeting themselves, along with a list of possible members who lived nearby.
"I drove around for days looking at mailboxes; none of the streets were marked," Scott remembered. "I had two flat tires one day."
Her persistence paid off as more and more people began attending on Sundays.
"I think some of them came just because they wanted to see the inside of our house," Scott said.
But they stayed, and the congregation grew to about 30 members. They met for the main service, Sacrament Meeting, in the saloon portion of the old-hotel-turned-home and held classes in the different bedrooms, as the family cat wandered through.
"It was a time when everybody had to work really hard," she said. "But everybody was so close and so active."
In January 1980, they started holding the Sacrament Meeting in the town hall, which is now the Dayton Museum. However, all the classes were still held in the Scotts' house.
With membership growing, they moved to the community center in 1982, even though the building had no heat.
"It was freezing cold," Scott said. "The women wore pants under long dresses."
In 1983, they met in an old chapel that had been being used for storage on the Stewart Indian Complex. While the chapel was being renovated, they met in different members' homes.
Then on April 24, 1990, the first Mormon church was built in Dayton.
"It was exciting even when we moved into the Stewart building because it was an actual church," Scott said. "When we moved out here, we felt like we'd died and gone to heaven."
Over the years, the old hotel burned down, and the chapel at Stewart has been sold. And membership has continued to grow.
"I just sit in church and look at how many people are there," Scott marveled. "It's just amazing to me that we could have this kind of growth.
"And there's so many babies. It's just so nice."
With families filling the overflow area and hallways during Sacrament Meeting, church members have once again outgrown their space.
"I love the growth of the ward," said Bishop Ron Niblett, among the clergy in the church, who are not paid for their services. "We have so many young, strong Christian families moving in that Sundays are more like one big family with new people showing up every week"
Reaching a membership of about 670, plans are under way to expand the current 9,362 square-foot building into 16,037 square feet.
Groundbreaking ceremonies will be held 10 a.m. Saturday. Construction is scheduled to begin June 28 and be completed by July 2005.
"Everyone is certainly welcome to attend this groundbreaking ceremony to see for themselves the strong Christian fundamental beliefs that we uphold," Niblett said. "Any one is always welcome to attend church at 9 a.m. Sundays or any of our youth programs during the week."
Members will meet at the church on Saliman Road in Carson City during the final phases of the construction.
However, Scott does not see one more displacement as an inconvenience.
"Other than my family, it is the thing I am most proud of in my life that I had such a part in seeing this happen," she said.
Contact Teri Vance at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1272.
If You Go
What: Groundbreaking ceremony
When: 10 a.m. Saturday
Where: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 304 Driftwood Way, Dayton.
History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:
1820: At age 14, Joseph Smith receives a visitation from God and Jesus Christ after praying to find out which church to join.
1830: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is officially organized with Smith as the prophet.
1830: The Book of Mormon is published after Smith translates the writings of ancient American civilizations between about 1200 B.C. to 421 A.D. from golden plates.
1844: Smith is killed by a mob while in jail in Carthage, Ill.
1847: Amid persecution in the Midwest, the first Latter-day Saint pioneers arrive in the Great Salt Lake Valley, led by prophet Brigham Young.
2002: Church membership nears 12 million, with more than half living outside the United States.
For more information, go to lds.org