"Mark, when is the construction going to start?" When we voted in May to build our new Children and Youth building, we had an architect and builder chosen, and we were anticipating things moving quickly. Over these months, we've sold the campus west property, secured a construction loan, and had a few landscaping, water, and design approvals by the city. Like you, we were anticipating movement, and were wondering why things weren't happening.
But then, about a month ago, our chosen builder told us that they, effective immediately, would no longer be doing commercial projects, choosing instead to return to building residential properties instead. Therefore, they would not be our builder, as planned. So, we, along with several other projects in the area, were left without a builder. Obviously, this decision has delayed our project several months. While not ideal, we at least have an answer, and know why things were not progressing as quickly as we had hoped.
Since that time, with our architect's help, we have chosen a new builder (Thomas Construction out of Brentwood), and they are in the bid process. They are very eager to build our new building. We hope to have their bidding process complete soon, and then the board will approve or make changes as needed. Afterward, the city will need to approve a final design, and then construction can begin. We will keep you in the loop once we have a clear timeline. We are hoping things can begin moving more quickly now that we are clearing these hurdles. Please keep the project in your prayers. We're excited to see this come to fruition!
In addition to celebrating God’s gift of ‘mom’ in all our lives, we also voted on the recommendations of our church board regarding the new children’s and youth building, selling the west Columbia property, and empowering the board to utilize a construction loan as needed to complete the project. To approve the project, we needed a two-thirds affirmative vote from the Grace Church members. 244 total votes were submitted. 163 affirmative votes were needed to approve. The result of our members’ voting is as follows:
YES (236) NO (8) 96.7% (MEMBERS.)
In addition, we shared a different colored ballot for non-members, if they wanted to participate to express their opinions. Thanks to all of you who took part! The result of our non-members’ voting is as follows:
YES (60) NO (0) 100% (NON-MEMBERS)
Many thanks to all of you who were here to vote. Every vote matters. And thank you to all of you who couldn’t be here to vote, for whatever reason, but verbally shared with us your heart on the recommendations. Thank you to everyone who took part in the town halls, and asked great questions. We are learning so much through the process.
So, with your 96.7% affirmative vote, we will move forward with our project. Papers are being signed, and meetings with the City of Columbia are being held this week to begin important site preparation. As we move into implementation phase of this project, please keep your church leadership team in prayer. God has been so good, and we know he will continue to liberally grant wisdom as we seek his kingdom. We’ll keep you informed.
You are loved,
Dear Grace Church family,
It was a blessing for me, Sunday morning, to be able to bring you into the several years’ long conversation our board has been having to address the growth issues our children’s and youth ministries have been experiencing the last few years. I pray all of you who were in attendance were humbled, as I was, by the diligence of our church board on our behalf throughout the years. I am thrilled we are finally able to roll out a plan to address these growth needs, to acknowledge the great ministry they have been doing in spite of less than sufficient facilities, and share the miracle God has given us regarding the property in west Columbia. Sunday evening, approximately one hundred people gathered to hear from our board members, ask good questions, and learn more about the recommendations I shared with you Sunday morning. If you missed the presentation, “Greatest in the Kingdom,” you can check it out in the ‘Sermon Archives.’
SPECIAL CALLED CHURCH MEETING: If you weren’t in attendance Sunday, I’m attaching a digital image for you to see the new Grace Church Children’s and Youth Center. All approvals have been given, with one exception: the Grace Church congregation still needs to approve this plan with your vote of affirmation. The time-sensitive nature of these recommendations necessities I call a special meeting for THIS COMING SUNDAY MORNING, MAY 14TH, IN BOTH SERVICES! Sunday is Mother’s Day, and we will have a regular day of worship. Bring all those special ladies!! We even have a few babies to dedicate to the Lord! We’ll wrap up in plenty of time in order to conduct voting at the conclusion of the services. We’ll have an official ballot for all our members, but we will also provide an unofficial ballot for all non-members, because we want to know your opinion.
Just for reminder, our Grace Church board is recommending, and seeking the support of our church’s active members to:
- Build a 14,000 square foot Children’s and Youth Center on our current campus for a budget of $2.5 million.
- Sell the 75.86-acre property located in west Columbia between Highways 50 and 412 for a cash price of $1.5 million.
- Empower the church board to take-out a construction loan for up to $1 million to use as needed to complete the project.
ANOTHER TOWN-HALL MEETING: There will be another Town-Hall style meeting Wednesday evening, at 6 pm, in the lobby of the worship center, for anybody wanting to learn more, to ask questions, or to pick up your own packet of the building image and layout. Board members will be available to give their thoughts, and answer any questions you may have. We also have enlarged images of the building and layout. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can answer any questions for you.
I look forward to seeing you all throughout the week and Sunday morning!
You are loved,