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FBC Glencoe breaks ground on new facility to reach families, communitycomment (0)

June 2, 2005

By Lauren Brooks

After a year and a half of praying, planning and pledging, First Baptist Church, Glencoe, has broken ground on its new building program.
“We’re seeking to reach young families and we see this new building and renovation as ways to reach them,” Pastor Vince Whittington said. 
Whittington said phase one of the campaign will cost $525,000 and includes constructing a new children’s building as well as renovating the current children’s wing.  
Renovations will add classrooms and improve restrooms for both children and adults. 
Another part of the plan is to open up space inside the current buildings to improve traffic flow.
“We developed a master plan to maximize our existing facilities and property,” Whittington said. “People will be able to move around easier, and we hope to give them better access to the buildings and restrooms.” 
Barry Benefield, the church’s associate pastor, said the building program is indicative of the direction the church is heading.
“The new building will offer a tool to minister to children in a more proficient manner,” he said. 
Benefield also mentioned that the renovation and expansion will offer the church the ability to reopen its weekday-preschool ministry, a program that was discontinued about a year ago.
“Not a month goes by that someone doesn’t call to request enrollment in our weekday program,” Benefield said. “Being able to offer this program again makes us excited about the possibility of ministering to children in a greater way.”
Brent Boatwright, minister of children and youth, is especially excited about how the building improvements will change the face of the church’s ministries.
“We’re going to provide a place we can be proud of, and it will show young families in our community that we care,” he said. “First it will impact the children and then the whole family.”
Whittington said that phase two of the project, a Christian ministries building, is expected to be launched in three to four years.
“This would be like a family life center with a gym for sports activities and rooms for table games and ceramics, for example,” he said. 
“It’s going to provide an updated, state-of-the-art space for children all the way up to senior adults. It will be a place for everybody.”
Boatwright, who also has a background in sports and recreation administration, said his desire is to use the building as an outreach to the community.
“There will be something for all ages from basketball leagues to a walking track for senior adults,” said Boatwright.
Phases three through five will focus on renovating other existing facilities. The sanctuary was renovated about four years ago, so it will not be included in the renovation, Whittington noted.
He said the church used the “Challenge to Build” capital campaign program and was pleased with how well things went. 
“We started in the fall and had raised our commitments by the end of the year,” he said. “The commitments will be given over a period of three years.”
Church member Phillip Higginbotham is coordinating the building program between the church and the contractor.
“We’re on our way and everything seems to be in place,” he said. 
Weather permitting, Higginbotham said phase one should be completed by October.

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