Members of Second Baptist Church in Lincoln, Neb., and First Baptist Church in Columbia, Mo., wanted to create space to meet congregational needs.
In both cases, renovation of the existing facility opened possibilities and saved money.
Members of Second Baptist had dreamed of enlarging small staff offices and relocating them from the narthex for about 20 years.
Recently, they completed the project, as well as remodeling the kitchen.
By relocating its nursery to a slightly smaller room, members were able to redesign the existing nursery space into larger, more efficient offices for Pastor Steve Wisthoff and the secretary and add a waiting area and restroom.
Adding technology to the new office area was no problem because the nursery was completely gutted before renovation began. The church already had wifi and wireless printing in place.
Moving the offices allowed more space in the narthex for members to fellowship before and after worship, Wisthoff said.
Members made the kitchen more environmentally friendly by replacing an old institutional-style dishwasher with an under-the-counter model that has a two-minute wash cycle. Now they use little or no Styrofoam or paper goods at meals. They also installed a convection oven, new cabinets and seamless flooring.
An aging building with “lots of problems” was the impetus for an extensive remodeling project at First Baptist. The facility, constructed in 1927, needed major roof and tuckpointing repair to fix water leaks and make the building tight.
Members gutted the fellowship hall on the building’s lower level and “for the most part, started over,” Administrative Pastor Ed Rollins explained. They created office space on the second floor and added needed restrooms.
They “had gone round and round” in discussions about whether to construct a new building or renovate the old one. Money also was the major issue for them.
Renovation worked out well, Rollins said. “The results are just terrific.”
Second Baptist Church members also believe they made the right choice for their ministry. “When we set out to remodel, it was clear that the congregation did not want to do this simply for the membership to be more comfortable in more pleasant surroundings.
“We wanted to do something that would increase our ability to serve the community around us. We are examining some of those options and may include an outreach to minority groups, a childcare center or other missional opportunities,” Wisthoff said.
“I feel good about our building and what we have done. I think it can be a place of service and worship for decades to come….”