Dear Covenant Partners and Friends of First Pres,

It’s been a busy few years at our church! We’ve been engaged with implementing the various initiatives of the 20/20 Vision: Seeing Our Future Clearly, the five-year Strategic Plan the Session approved in 2015. In January of this year, a report was given at a Congregational Meeting on the progress we’ve made on the nine initiatives of the Strategic Plan. Click here to read a summary report of the good work that has been done on these important goals.

One of the 20/20 initiatives of the Strategic Plan involves a Comprehensive Site Master Plan and Building Program. We want to give you an update on the progress we’ve made regarding accomplishing this goal. The initiative grew out of the results of a congregational survey that was conducted in 2014 which revealed that folks in our congregation believe one of the weaknesses in our church is inadequate and poorly-connected facilities.

Session approved these values and goals as the drivers for developing a Site Master Plan:

• Connect and integrate the campus
• Update and refurbish the older elements of our buildings
• Create smart classrooms for teaching and discipleship
• Provide substantial places for people to connect and to build community
• Leverage our buildings for mission and ministry
• Improve the “way-finding” with clear and easy access and entry
• Be a campus that invites visitors and downtown residents

Joe Ely has led a team of 15 covenant partners in our church to develop this Site Master Plan together with an architectural firm for the past several months. Many of you took part in the listening sessions that were conducted to learn about your concerns and dreams for our facility. In May, the Facilities Planning Committee presented to Session an initial concept for them to review. It is still a work in progress, but now we’re at a point where we need to answer three important questions:

1. What do we need?
2. How much will it cost?
3. Do we have the interest and the capacity to build it?

Session approved doing a feasibility study to gauge the interest and capacity of the congregation to undertake a building program, and it also gave permission to the Facilities Planning Committee to work with a contractor to develop cost estimates.

Over the next few months, Whitney Jones, a consultant here in town, and his colleagues will be working with a planning team led by elder Bo Brookby. The Session hopes to receive a report from the Planning Team at its meeting in September as the elders continue to pray about and study what God is calling us to do. Please join the Session in prayer as we seek God’s will.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Edward Griggs, chair of the 20/20 Team, Joe Ely, chair of the Facility Planning Committee, or Bo Brookby, chair of the Feasibility Study Planning Team. We will be happy to keep you informed and answer any questions you may have.

Visit the 20/20 Vision page for more information

20/20 Vision Page