Today I want to share a summary for those who were unable to attend our May 5th Church Conference. This gathering included an update from our Building Planning Team, the results of our Capital Campaign as well as a church vote on action recommended by our Executive Lay Leadership Team.
First, a quick word about our teams.
Our Building Planning Team is chaired by Linc Moss. Linc is President of Ramtech construction. He and his wife Linda have been members of our church since 2003 and regularly attend our 9:30am Cornerstone.
Additionally, our building planning team includes Phil Stover, Kathy Toth, Ben Mason, David Chumchal, Chris Elwell, Gary Davenport and Brad Waller.
Our Executive Lay Leadership Team is chaired by Todd Dawson. Additionally this team includes the chairs of our other major committees, Phil Slingerland who chairs our Pastor-Parish relationship team, Jeff Rasco who chairs our Stewardship team, and Carrie Garcia who chairs our Trustees Team. Randall Canedy serves on Executive Lay Leadership as our Generosity Chair, overseeing our current capital campaign and the entire financial health of our church. Alongside these leaders, we have six additional lay members who each serve three year terms. They are Penny Voss, Diana Hellmers, Joni Wilson, Taylor Davis, Linc Moss, and Courtney McKay
Building Planning Team Update
Linc Moss shared the update from our Building Planning Team. Here are three important points that Linc noted in his presentation.
We have 100% confidence in our overall project plan, the work that the building team has done, and Parkhill, Smith & Cooper, the architectural firm that has been our partner throughout this process.
This confidence is shared by all our leadership teams but also reflects the feedback our congregation has shared throughout the year long process we have undergone in the preparation and sharing of this project.
There are three major components of our current project.
The first is parking which includes 216 new spaces located on the land we purchased for that purpose right across Pleasant Ridge as well as the replacement of all the asphalt parking spaces we currently have and an expanded circle drive on the Pleasant Ridge side of our campus.
The second is the renovation work in Building A (the gym area as well as what we used to refer to as the Arts & Education Building which includes our music areas, preschool ares and the additional classrooms and Student ministry space on the second floor.
The third component is the new construction which will include new and enhanced children’s space, a Special Needs suite, as well as new Adult classrooms and a larger gathering space on the second floor.
Finally, after continuing the development of construction documents and receiving bids from 5 contractors, the cost of the overall project has been reduced from 15.4 million to 13.5 million.
Capital Campaign Update
Randall Canedy, who serves as our Generosity Chair, gave an update on where we are currently with our Capital Campaign. Again, there are three important points to note from what Randall shared.
- We have had 614 giving units make commitments to our Capital Campaign with a total commitment amount of $5,631,876.53. Note that giving units includes both individuals and families in our church. For reference, we had around 1500 giving units make a gift of any amount during 2018.
After conferring with Texas Methodist Foundation, the financial institution who has partnered with us in all of our expansion projects, they provided for us two models. One model solved for what they believe we can achieve at our current commitment total. The second model solved for what commitment total we would need to reach in order to move forward with the Texas Methodist Foundation for the total project.
- At our current total of $5,631,876.53, the project cost they believe we can achieve is $8.2 million.
- In order to fund the full $13.5 million project, they believe our commitment total would need to be at $10 million.
At this point, Linc shared that one of the constraints of our current project is that it’s feasible for us to spend $4-6 million dollars or the full project cost of $13.5 million. Because of the way the project breaks down between parking, renovation and new construction, spending somewhere between those two amounts does not make pragmatic sense. It would not enable us to finish out or occupy any of the space within the new construction.
With all of that in mind, the Executive Lay Leadership made the following recommendations.
- Move forward on the first phase of the project which would be the additional parking, the replacement of our current asphalt parking spaces and the expanded circle drive on the Pleasant Ridge side of our campus. The formal motion that was made to the church campus read in this way:
The Executive Leadership Team recommends for approval to proceed with the construction of the phase one parking expansion and enhancement as outlined in the attached diagram with projected costs not to exceed $800,000.
Note that the $800,000 will be funded by monies already received from our Capital Campaign.
- Charge the Building Team to identify renovations that can take place now in order to enhance our current spaces and continue moving forward towards the completion of our full project. We expect a recommendation from their work to come before our church body at a future Church Conference sometime in late August or early September.
Note that the reason for this step is that there are certain aspects of renovation that cannot proceed until new construction takes place. The best example of this is the relocation of our choir room to accommodate a wide hallway connecting our current atrium to the new children’s check-in area. To do that, we would have to take our current nursery space that will be needed until new space is added.
- Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it is the clear desire of our Lay Leadership that we continue moving forward towards our goal of securing the necessary commitments to move forward with the third phase of our project which is the new construction.
Our leadership did not want to put this off for another Capital Campaign we might have in the future. Instead, we want to continue striving towards the goal of securing $10 million in commitments in our current campaign.
Results of the vote
The motion to move forward with the first phase of our plan was approved with a vote of 209 yes votes, 6 no votes, and 1 abstention.
I shared a few final thoughts at the end of our time which I want to expand on here.
We are in the midst of our 133rd year of ministry as the First Methodist Mansfield. That means that in 17 years – the year 2036 – we will celebrate our 150th anniversary. Over the course of the first century of our history, this church has continually taken remarkable steps of faith. In the last three decades, ground work was laid that enabled the explosive growth we experienced in that span of time.
But now, it is our time.
The responsibility falls to us to ensure that the church of 2036 might look back with the same level of appreciation we have for the faithful who have written the story of our first 133 years.
The step we took at our May 5th Church Conference was not as large a step as I had hoped we would take. I know many may also feel some sense of disappointment at that.
At the same time, we should each remember that our current commitment total exceeds any other capital campaign in our history, and the most important thing is that while it may not be as large a step as we had hoped, we are taking a step forward nonetheless.
I celebrate your faithfulness in taking that step.
My personal convictions I have shared over this last year remain.
God believes in you.
I believe in you.
There are more than enough resources to achieve God’s dreams for our church.
So we will stay focused on the dreams we believe God has planted within us and the mission God has called us to pursue, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ who love God, love others and serve the world.
If there are any questions I can answer for you, please do not hesitate to let me know.