G2G Update: “A Remarkable Response!”

By Pastor Rhodes Woolly

After five weeks of our G2G Phase 2 Campaign, you have pledged or contributed $3.2 million, based on a total project goal of $3.8 million. What a remarkable response!

Your investment shows that you believe in the ultimate goal of our campaign: to prepare space for a new generation of ministry. As you know, that includes replacing all of the sanctuary building HVAC units, renovating the fellowship hall and kitchen, renovating the CDC, adding handicap accessible restrooms to the lower and sanctuary levels, renovating the  music suite, and replacing the sanctuary’s sound system and carpet.

The project represents the first major renovation since 1947, although significant work on the sanctuary’s aesthetic was completed in 1975.

The St. John’s sanctuary is an icon for the city of Salisbury, firmly standing in the center of downtown for nearly 100 years. No doubt, those before us were faithful stewards of the building and the many different ministries it has housed over the years. We have been richly blessed because of their faithfulness.

Now it’s our turn. Thank you for stepping up to the plate!

Some significant historical moments loom on our horizon, which provides heightened interest in this project. In 2022, we will celebrate the 275th anniversary of the congregation. St. John’s is Salisbury’s first church, which means  that we’ve grown up together. To a certain extent, our anniversary is the city’s anniversary, and we’ll certainly want to celebrate together.

2027 marks the 100th anniversary of the sanctuary building. Because of the congregation’s terrific growth, the church was relocated from North Main Street to its current location, paving the way for expanded ministries and presence in the community. By the mid 1950s, it was the largest Lutheran church between DC and Atlanta, and boasted the largest Sunday School attendance in the entire United Lutheran Church.

12 generations of our forebears brought us to where we are today. This campaign builds on that legacy as we prepare space for a new generation of ministry.

What’s next?  A few things come to mind:

The Campaign isn’t over! Perhaps you would like to contribute or increase your level of participation. There’s plenty of time for you to respond as we seek to complete our fundraising goal of $3.8 million.

Interested in a naming gift? Naming rights are provided based on certain giving levels. See the campaign brochure for more information. We’re actively seeking naming gifts for the music suite, the CDC kitchen, and the new CDC multi-purpose room.

This is a no-debt project. One of the most important steps our Council took early on is in claiming that phase 2 will be a no-debt project, which means that work will commence when we have cash/pledges in hand. The decision guarantees that the congregation will not be burdened by future debt repayment or exorbitant interest costs.

Drawings, Bids, Renovation. Because of the congregation’s tremendous response, Council was confident enough to secure the work of a local architect, Bill Burgin, to begin work on architectural drawings, a process that takes approximately 8 weeks. Once drawings are complete, the project will be put out to bid (approximately 4 weeks). Once bids are reviewed, Council will recommend a specific bid to the congregation, outline the renovation timeline, and put forward a plan for how ministries will continue during the renovation process.

Thanks abound. A project like this takes the collective effort of lots of people. Special kudos to our G2G Steering Committee chair, Mark Lewis, the G2G Building Team chair, Mike Agee, and other members of the leadership team (Franco Goodman, Raymond Coltraine, Amy Ritchie, and Bill Safrit). A debt of gratitude is also extended to our faithful staff. Because we chose not to use an outside consultant, our staff has taken on the responsibility of guiding the inner workings of this campaign. Many thanks to them.

And thanks to all who have been a part of this journey. What a special time in the life of this congregation and community. If you’ve not yet invested in this campaign, I’d be happy to talk with you about it. Just let me know.


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