We started envisioning this venue for ministry and missions about a dozen years ago, but first needed to complete our exterior infrastructure update (Master Plan) in order to make First Baptist Church accessible to all members and visitors by coming into compliance with the American Disabilities Act. Moving past Master Plan, we began touring other student ministry facilities two years ago in Amarillo, Dallas, and Nashville, gleaning the best ideas for reaching the next generation for Christ.
The financial markets (interest rates) are also very favorable at this time, and Baptist Community Services is presently willing to come alongside First Baptist Church and partner in the project since their residents gain easy access to First Baptist and their employees and guests will have secure, covered parking during the week. With the construction of The Loft, First Baptist Church will be able to meet the needs of future generations for decades to come.
What is the construction budget, and how are we going to pay for the new facility?
Construction drawings are presently being developed by the architects and engineers. Therefore, we have not obtained a guaranteed maximum price from a construction manager. This is a four story, first class facility (matching the façade of our other educational structures) which includes a parking garage containing 146 parking spaces on the first two floors. While there are not yet any firm bids, we expect the construction budget to range between $24 and $28 million. This is a significant price tag, but the members of First Baptist Church of Amarillo have a history of stepping up to big challenges. Those who have gone before us sacrificed to provide First Baptist Church with the most inspiring sanctuary that could be constructed. They cut no corners, giving God their best, even during the Great Depression. Through the years, each successive generation has built upon our foundation for the needs of future generations of First Baptist Church worshipers. Complementary educational space was added in 1954 and 1973. The Family Life Center was constructed in 1980, and Master Plan created a beautified, cohesive, and accessible campus in 2010. We need, once again, to rise up and give God our very best as we shape the future of our children’s faith.
Fortunately, we have either already collected or received commitments for $15.8 million. Once our members are given the opportunity, we feel certain that many of you will want to partner with us by making a contribution above and beyond your regular budget gifts to First Baptist Church. Additionally, we have already arranged a line of credit at below-market interest rates to spread any unfunded portions of construction costs over future years. Given the recent generosity of our members, we think it is realistic to project that the project will be completely debt free within ten years. Finally, new families will be drawn to FBC by the new ministry opportunities found in “The Loft” and will contribute, as we faithfully minister to their students.
How will this new ministry tool be used?
In this special edition of The Journal, you will find ministry activities and approaches that will be utilized in The Loft by everyone, from preschoolers to senior adults. For a short list, we see The Loft being used for Vacation Bible School, Mothers on Mission (MOMs), ladies’ Bible studies, men’s groups, Young Adult Live, College Ministry activities, Sunday School cookouts, connecting kids with Park Central residents for missions and ministry, and as an after-school hangout for youth, including academic tutoring, recreation, and just connecting with friends.
What architectural style will be used?
In forming the façade of this new facility, the architects knew they must reflect our present architectural beauty. Having previously and appropriately appointed our campus with Master Plan arches, arcades, stained glass, and rotunda, our architects knew fully well the rich history of architectural beauty on the First Baptist Church campus. The new facility is a beautiful blend of arches, cast stone, and green tile roofs that echoes the rich architectural style that is captured in both our sanctuary and Master Plan. At the same time, however, the new facility takes advantage of new construction methods and materials to create a beautiful blend of both traditional architectural appointments with up-to-date architectural trends to produce a building that will relate to all generations.
How can I contribute?
You can already give online at www.firstamarillo.org by using the “Giving” tab and selecting the “New Project” designation for your gift. Also, you may simply designate your envelope and check as “New Project” and place it in one of our offering boxes. For your convenience, special envelopes will be distributed in the future. Please remember, however, as much as we would like for you to participate in this exciting project, all gifts should be above and beyond your regular gifts to the church budget. We certainly understand that not everyone can participate at this time.
How can I learn more?
You’re invited to the following events concerning The Loft:
Sunday, August 29th | 7:00 p.m.
Following our Evening Worship
Sunday, September 19th | 6:00 p.m.
During our Evening Worship
Have more questions? A Q&A time will be a part of our August 29th forum. We also invite you to email firstname.lastname@example.org (allow several days for a response) or call one of our staff members at (806) 373-2891.