GBC's Building Expansion Campaign
Grace Bible Church Then And Now
In 1934, a group of people began meeting every Saturday night for prayer and Bible Study. As opportunities to minister grew, they began meeting in an empty store front on Main Street. Eventually, a new building was dedicated for worship to the LORD, originally with the name of Grace Gospel Tabernacle. As the LORD has blessed and prospered His people here, in 1999 we moved to our current location. The 1999 plans included various Phases for future developments including an expanded Children’s wing (completed in 2002), a larger Worship Center, Welcome Center, Fireside Room, Office and Youth Room (completed in 2004). In 2009, the Upper Room was built to accommodate the growing Junior High ministry. But as in 1934 and along the way, the LORD has continued to provide opportunities for us to minister beyond what the building can cope with. After much prayer and discussion, the elders feel that the time has come to consider proceeding with the next/last Phase of the plans.
We hope you will read the FAQs below and prayerfully consider whether you would be willing to support this project. As always, the leadership of Grace Bible Church covets your prayers for wisdom and direction from the LORD as we seek His will, His glory and His timing in all our lives.
The main pieces of the building expansion are (a) a much larger, multi-use Activity Center, additional restrooms and storage, and fully ADA complaint rooms for youth ministry. Also planned is a renovation of the existing Activity Center into a 350+ seat chapel.
The expansion is in keeping with the long-range building plan set forth over 20 years ago, although many modifications have taken place which we believe will enable us to minister better to the body of Christ for years to come! Ministry leaders have been consulted and plans are drawn.
Grace Bible Church has a no-debt policy, so we will only build in accordance with available funds to cover the costs. The site was prepped at the beginning of 2020. Most of the structure was in place by November 2020 and work is continuing inside now, electrical, ducting, windows, lighting. If giving allows, we could apply for occupancy and start using it by the end of 2021!
Total cost is estimated at around $6.5 Million. As at January 2021, around 5m has been raised!
We have many functions and events that are too big for any of the classrooms spaces, but too small for the Worship Center and for which the Activity Center isn’t suitable (no one wants to get married in a basketball court, right?). The Chapel will provide a perfect alternative for up to 360 people.
The current Activity Center is the most frequently used room in the building. A larger AC with a divider will enable more ministries to use the space at the same time. Another big reason is wanting to make the whole-church fellowship meals a more regular feature, as we do at the church picnic and global outreach conference. The existing kitchen would be located at the opposite end of the building from the new Activity Center, which would make it impractical for events in the new facility.
The current Junior High Room is not handicap-accessible. Accessibility is important for everyone, regardless of their age. Also, locating the Junior High Room close to the Senior High room facilitates joint activities, better accountability and a safer environment. We want to know where our kids are, right?
We have immediate needs for ADA (disability) compliance, restrooms and storage. The building expansion also meets current and future opportunities for children, youth, college and counseling ministries which are limited (or made overly complicated) by existing facilities. Lastly, construction costs rise over time, so waiting will only result in higher costs. We began the project with available reserves and, by God’s grace, we are coming towards the finishing line!
The first step was the foundation (completed June 2020), then the shell of the new building, framing was completed in summer, roofing was completed in November and interior work (electrical, ducting, hvac, lighting etc) are still being done as of February 2021. There is more drywall to be done in the new activity center, kitchen and work out room. And floors, carpets, paint, furniture…but the fact is, it is getting done by and by and we praise the Lord! Once the new work is done and approved for occupancy, work will begin on converting the existing activity center into a chapel.
Many Reasons! We still need to meet ADA compliance in parts of the building which are currently inaccessible to people with mobility difficulties. We also lack a room large enough to accommodate the number of people who wish to take part in events like the church picnic, when the weather is not agreeable. That alone necessitates the new Activity Center and once that is built, the existing AC will be redundant. Seating in the new chapel would be movable, comfortable chairs, allowing flexibility for different types of functions.
The most important need is prayer for God’s guidance and wisdom. The main material need is financial and you can select BUILDING FUND from the dropdown menu on the GIVE item at the top of this page.
Yes and no. We have worked hard to design in keeping with both the current and future ministry needs of Grace Bible Church. So some rooms have been designed to be flexible about determining final usage closer to the completion date. In other words, the plans are done but some rooms may be modified in the last steps to accommodate a different purpose than originally thought.
Once construction is complete, we will likely need an additional custodial staff member. Utilities will increase marginally. Overall, the impact is likely to be about a 2% increase in annual operating costs.