The facilities available to the church are no longer adequate for the all of the various ministries associated with it, so last year, Thomas explained, they borrowed some money and began working on a new building, which will primarily house the student ministry and serve as a larger fellowship hall.
When completed, the new building will start what Thomas calls a “domino effect. We’ll move our student ministry into the new building, put a nursery and preschool in the old fellowship hall. Then we can move the adult classes out of the modular buildings that we’re having to rent for them now.”
Also, the Quonset hut that is currently sitting next to the shell of the new building will be taken down, a pavilion will be put up over the slab and picnic tables and barbecue pits will be installed.
“It will be a nice thing not just for the church, but for the community. A lot of churches now have just the ‘us four, no more’ attitude. But we want to be a part of this community,” Thomas said.
The church also recently purchased some adjacent properties with houses on them. One is currently being used for storage, and will eventually provide additional parking. The other will be home to a new ministry, to be named on Sunday.
“We’ll have a food bank there, and clothes and blankets for people in need. We’ll have some appliances and furniture also.”
The new building, when it is complete, will feature a parking lot and covered front porch. The front of the building will be a common area, with a restaurant kitchen off to the left and bathrooms on the right. The back will house the student ministry, complete with a raised stage and sound equipment for band performances, dramas and video presentations.
“This building will hold three or four times what the current fellowship hall can hold,” Thomas said. “It would be a great place for wedding receptions or even birthday parties.”
The outer shell of the building is complete, and work on the inside is expected to wrap up in March.
“We’re running about eight months behind schedule,” Thomas said. “Our contractor was delayed when he did some work for tornado victims in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. But it was a blessing in disguise in a lot of ways, since it allowed us to make some changes before construction actually started.”
The current projects are all part of a long-term strategy adopted by the church two or three years ago. Even as the congregation grows, Thomas said his emphasis will be on creating small groups for Bible study within the church.
“This is a great time for us,” he added.
Contact Chris Norwood at email@example.com.