The “Together in Faith” Capital Campaign will fund the renovation of two existing spaces to house both worship gatherings of our ONE church family at First UMC-Denham Springs.
What is the extent of this project?
The project addresses extensive design deficiencies to our sanctuary building, largely undetected over a longer time period, and the subsequent damage incurred. The roof design allowed moisture accumulation and, ultimately, structural failings in the peak area of the roof. The worsening situation also eventually involved the discovery and necessary abatement of asbestos ceiling materials. The prescription for re-occupying includes structural repairs to roof beams and partial re-roofing, reconfiguration of the AC system and necessary electrical upgrades. Remodeling of the restroom facility in the sanctuary building to accommodate handicap accessibility is also included in the sanctuary repairs. The project will also renovate the existing gym as a multi-use space to house contemporary worship and other large gatherings, including programs for children and youth. Addressing sound control issues and providing adequate sound/visual projection capabilities comprise the bulk of this task.
What is the cost of the project?
The detailed cost estimate of this entire undertaking is projected to be $800,000. The sanctuary repairs comprise approximately 90% of this figure, while the gym renovation is expected to represent the remaining 10% of the total cost.
Who is conducting the work funded by this project?
We are currently under contract with Baton Rouge-based contractor Cangelosi-Ward, who have already begun work and will complete all repairs to the sanctuary. The gym renovation will largely utilize volunteer expertise within our own congregation and the repurposing of all possible furnishings and equipment, but also includes involvement by local companies specializing in sound management and sound/projection equipment.
How did we get to this point?
To say this has a long history and backstory is an understatement, however, by God’s grace, we are NOW at this point of seeing this project through to completion. Our current Building Committee (*see below) was instituted through a Charge Conference on May 9, 2017, and has seen this project through many challenging dilemmas and decisions with the assistance of architects, engineers, abatement companies and other outside expertise. After Rev. Scott Bullock’s arrival in July 2018, our Building Committee again presented all information to the congregation in two Town Hall Meetings, culminating in an October 2018 Church Conference in which our membership voted to proceed with a bold plan by a 90% margin. This plan included an expanded vision for engaging the entire worshipping congregation by adding a gym renovation aspect to house our contemporary worship service. This aspect was to be managed and completed by an Ad-Hoc group (*see below) from within the Building Committee in consultation with our Trustees and ultimately only utilizing funds on hand designated specifically for this portion of the project. The Church Conference plan also approved a financing strategy involving the borrowing of funds and a Capital Campaign led by Horizons Stewardship. After approval by the UMC’s LA Conference, financing secured through the LA UM Foundation, and bids reviewed and reworked, our Building Committee signed a contract with Cangelosi-Ward to begin the sanctuary renovations on January 3, 2019. As well, work on the gym is proceeding in consultation with the Trustees and we are now engaged in the aforementioned Capital Campaign.
Why are we doing this project and why now?
The entire project remedies our exclusion from functional and inspirational worship spaces which already exist on site to accommodate our growing church family. Additionally, escalating costs exacerbated by long delays and coupled with significant amounts of time, energy and expense already invested have prompted our most recent sense of urgency. Comprehensively, our inadequate worship accommodations have impeded our ability to grow and attend to God’s mission in the community!
What is the timeline for these projects?
Both worship spaces, sanctuary, and gym are projected to be complete by early summer of this year, allowing subsequent occupancy and re-consecration celebrations in Fall of 2019.
How will we pay for this project?
Because of our unique situation, the project has actually been initiated prior to this capital campaign. The sanctuary portion of the project is being predominantly financed with funds borrowed through the United Methodist Foundation, affiliated with our LA Conference of the UMC. Accumulated and future financial gifts, separately designated for the sanctuary or the gym, will provide additional resources, respectively. The fruits of this capital campaign will allow completion of both components of this project and significantly reduce (or even potentially eliminate) any future debt with the LA UM Foundation.
What will be expected of people and how can i help
Our goal is wide participation by all in our church family and even friends in the community and beyond! We earnestly seek your prayer support for this endeavor, your presence in worship with us as we travel this leg of the journey, and your financial support as God enables you! This “extra mile” giving is beyond our regular giving to support the ongoing ministries of our congregation so it is “Not an equal share but an equal sacrifice”. There are even age-appropriate ways our children and youth can participate so that families can participate and grow in discipleship together. All gifts are important as they signal our commitment to one another, our future and ultimately God’s path forward for us together!
What are the most important points of involvement?
Of course, anyway by which you are engaged in this effort is welcomed and appreciated but especially at a number of significant times. Our “Together in Faith” campaign kicks off Sunday, March 10 and will receive a spotlight in worship leading up to Commitment Sunday, April 14th (Palm Sunday). Throughout this time you will receive various print and electronic communications with details of the project and this campaign. In the weeks following Easter, we will be challenged in a First Fruits offering, encouraged to give thanks together and celebrate All that God is doing and will do through us! Schedule of most significant dates/events.
When do I make my commitment?
Commitment Sunday is April 14th! Giving can begin with “First Fruits Sunday” on May 5.
How long is the commitment period and what are the payment options?
The pledge period is three years. You may pay off your pledge in whatever manner best firsts your circumstances over the next three years.
Who are the members of the building committee?
The Building Committee elected by the May 2017 Charge Conference consists of Bob Morgan (chair), Don Allen, Bobby Annison, Jim Barclay, Tony Duvall, Bill Drake, Bob Hill, Michelle Jochim, Elizabeth Kammer, Dan Regan, Dale Thurston. The Ad Hoc/Sub-Committee for the gym renovation (appointed by the Building Committee in September 2018) consists of Rev. Scott T. Bullock, Dan Regan, Jim Barclay, Tony Duvall, Michelle Jochim.
If you have any questions at all, please call the church office, 225-665-8995, and we would love to help any questions during this process.