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State of the Church

By Susan Shinn Turner

This year’s annual State of the Church is set for Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 5:30 pm. The Congregation Council is hosting the event, which includes a meal, prepared by Ott Pinkston and his crew.

It’s going to be an exciting evening, according to Bill Johnson, council president. “This year, we will be rolling out plans for the sanctuary and fellowship hall renovations.”

As such, the State of the Church will serve as the official kick-off for Phase 2 of our Generation to Generation (G2G) campaign. Phase 1 was completed in 2015, with the dedication of the Faith Center on Sept. 12.

Council members saw preliminary plans for Phase 2 at their September meeting, Bill says. “We were all very impressed. It looks amazing, especially the downstairs. It’s going to be a total transformation.”

Bill says that a 3-D computer program will be available that evening, allowing congregation members to “walk-through” the whole renovation plan.

The focus of Phase 2 is on the sanctuary building, especially the lower level fellowship hall, a totally new kitchen, and new, handicap accessible restrooms. Plans also include adding accessible restrooms on the sanctuary level, replacing all HVAC units, and some renovations to the narthex, music wing, and CDC, including the renovation of the kitchen, interior painting, and reconfiguration of storage space.

“The sanctuary building is approaching its 100th birthday, and the fellowship hall has never had a complete renovation,” Bill says of a building that was dedicated on January 1, 1927. “We certainly want to preserve this incredible space.”

“Those before us did a phenomenal job designing and preserving this historic building,” says Pastor Rhodes. “Thanks to their great stewardship, we want to do the same for the generations that follow us.”

Other plans for the downstairs include adding a 45-seat dining area for funeral meals and other smaller gatherings.

Pastor Rhodes and Mark Lewis, longtime chair of the G2G steering committee, will make the presentation, along with Mike Agee, who served as construction liaison for Phase 1 and chairs the Phase 2 building team.

“Mike Agee and his committee have spent a lot of time with this project,” Bill says. “That committee has met religiously every month to work through everything. I have to give them kudos for their hard work.”

There will be no Kingdom Kids programming, but childcare will be provided. Children will meet in the Pit at 5:20 pm for a pizza dinner, then go to the ARK and outside play area for games and activities until the meeting is over.