"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." - John 12:32

 

May 29, 2024

Dear Church Family, It is my joy to share with you some key information related to our Exalting Christ building project. 

As you notice the dates for construction, please be aware that staff, volunteers, and professional movers will be working over these next few weeks to prepare our buildings for construction. We must remove all supplies and furnishings from the Education Building (1st and 2nd floor) by June 8th. The Education Building will be inaccessible to staff and ministry until the end of the total project. (Estimated February 2025)

The desire of our Session is that ministry for all ages will continue amid these 6 – 8 months of construction. Therefore, we have maximized 95% of our usable physical space to provide temporary locations for ministries and church operations.

  • Remodeling of Hardy classrooms into one Hardy Fellowship Hall space June 3, 2024
  • It is estimated that the new Hardy Fellowship space will be completed within 4 weeks.
  • Construction and remodeling of the Christian Life Center and the Education Building begins June 17th. Both buildings will be under construction simultaneously.
  • The CLC will hopefully be completed by late November so that we can access King Hall for worship during Advent season.

For Sunday, June 2nd, we begin our summer Sunday School semester.  Here are the times and locations of note:

Worship will continue in both the Sanctuary and King Hall June 2nd and June 9th. Beginning June 16th both worship services will be in the Sanctuary. There will be safe access to the restrooms on both floors of the Sanctuary.

Worship times:

  • Early Service will be from 8:30 am – 9:30 am in the Sanctuary
  • Late Service will be from 11 am – 12 n in King Hall (June 2 & 9, then moving to the Sanctuary June 16)

Sunday School for All Ages will be 9:45 am – 10:45 am.

  • Adults will be combined for study in the Sanctuary.
  • Students will have Sunday School in the Crossing.
  • Children grades 1st – 6th are combined in Hardy Chapel.
  • Pre-school children are on the 2nd floor CLC classrooms.
  • Nursery: Infants in room 204 CLC and Toddlers in room 205 CLC

 Campus Relocations and Closings

As you have likely noticed, there is much activity on our campus as we prepare for the start of construction.  A few items of note:

  • Both the Education Building (1st and 2nd floors) and the Christian Life Center (1st floor only) will be under construction simultaneously.
  • Due to the extensive ceiling work in the Education Building, all our furniture and supplies must be removed and stored elsewhere. We have just a few locations inside the Education Building for safe storage.  Additionally, no staff or church members will be able to enter the Education Building from June 17th until the completion of construction.  Such completion is estimated to be February 2025.
  • The following areas are closed effective 5/28/24:
    • Walking Track in CLC is closed and is being used for storage.
    • Van Dyke room is closed in preparation for construction.
    • The Fellowship Hall is closed in preparation for construction.
    • Hardy Classroom is closed in preparation for construction.
    • The Choir Room is closed in preparation for construction.
    • All classrooms/meeting rooms in the Education Building are closed in preparation for construction.
  •  Our staff are being relocated from the Education Building.
    • The administrative/office team are in the Study Hall building adjacent to the Crossing. This will be their location until the end of the total project.
    • The Pastoral team is relocating to the 2nd floor of the Crossing (the apartments) this week and will remain there until the end of the total project.
    • Nell is relocated to the 2nd floor of the CLC. The designated nursery ministry space is CLC 204, 205, and the mothers’ room.  Nursery ministry will remain in this area until the end of the total project.
    • Andrea is relocated to the 2nd floor of the CLC. The designated Children’s ministry space is CLC 201, 203, 210.  On Wednesdays and Sundays, rooms 208, 209 and the Prayer Chapel will be used for Children’s ministry.  These areas will remain as Children’s ministry space until the end of the total project.
    • The 2nd floor of the CLC will be accessible during the weekdays via stairs on the portico side only. On Sundays and Wednesday nights, the elevator in the CLC will be accessible from the main entrance on the portico side.
    • Rob Davis’ office is located within the Hardy Building and will not relocate.

 As Pastor Bill has encouraged our staff to show one another ‘grace upon grace’ during this exciting but challenging time, we would ask for grace from all our FPC family.  God Almighty has blessed us incredibly with campus space and resources so that ministry continues amid construction…and the church continues to be the church.

Grace and peace to you, Phyllis Pemerton

 

January 16, 2024: Where We Began

In February 2023, we began the public phase of our Exalting Christ Campaign. Our campaign goal was $12 million. 

The full scope of the project included:[1]

  • Refurbishment of our pipe organ
  • Some “deferred maintenance” issues in our Education Building
  • Updating some of our electrical system
  • Replacing our 2-pipe HVAC system
  • Renovation of our nursery and children’s ministry areas to enhance access and complete our controlled-access security system
  • Expansion of the Christian Life Center building to add additional classroom/meeting/gathering spaces for adults and families
  • Expansion of King Hall to increase our worship seating for our growing congregation
  • A “Connector” to add more safe means of travel from one side of our campus to the other and to provide additional meeting space

The Journey

Funding:

  • The last campaign pledge was made in July 2023. We have received no additional pledges for this 3-year campaign since that time.
  • Our total Campaign Commitments are $5,667,842 as of 1/10/24.

Session’s prayerful processing and planning:

  • Session and other leaders used our Mission Statement as the lens through which to prioritize the components of the project given the shortfall of our campaign goal.
  • As Session sought to balance the needs of our growing congregation, prudent stewardship of the physical resources already given us by the Lord, and available commitments, various scenarios were examined and pricing for each was obtained. This was a time of wrestling through many scenarios, much great discussion, and fervent prayer.
  • Session and other leaders also evaluated current and impending capital replacement needs across our existing buildings.

The Destination: Where We Believe the Lord is Leading Us

Exalting Christ Budget:

  • As we look at the total campaign commitments received from our congregation, Session believes our budget should be set at $6.1 million.

 Reduced Scope of Project:

  • With a budget that is 50% of our initial campaign goal, the scope of our project is necessarily reduced. Session has, however, put in place plans which would allow us to potentially launch a phase II in the future. The second phase would enable us to accomplish the expansion of King Hall worship seating and possibly add a new Fellowship Hall.
  • For now, we would continue to use King Hall for our Wednesday Night Family Gathering Meal.

Components Included in the $6.1 million budget:

  1. Organ Refurbishment
  2. Education Building Work

a. Replace two-pipe HVAC system
b. Electrical updates at rear of Sanctuary
c. Entrance with elevator
d. Complete access-controlled security system for nursery and children’s ministry areas
e. Modifications to classrooms on 2nd floor so that 5th/6th grade girls and boys will move from CLC to Education Building

3. CLC Work

a. Replacement chiller for King Hall
b. Add additional egress from King Hall (additional set of double doors)
c. (King Hall circulation area): Atrium area to be more open and inviting with spaces for gathering and coffee fellowship.
d. Since the current Fellowship Hall space will be modified with the relocation of the bank of restrooms, Hardy 1 and 2 will be remodeled/combined to provide a large classroom/meeting space.

 Once the actual construction work begins it will last approximately 37 weeks. We are waiting on the estimated delivery time for the Ed Building HVAC components to set the actual start date. Should know this within the next couple of weeks.

 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.   

-Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV

[1] Exalting Christ Campaign Frequently Asked Questions 2/2023

February 5, 2023 - Information from Town Hall Meeting Key Points

 1. Pipe Organ Refurbishment:

  • The quote that we received, and which was approved by Worship & Prayer Ministry Team and Session in February 2022, was for $557,822.
  • We currently have $84,423.98 in our Organ Contingency Designated Fund.

February –April 2022, the Worship & Prayer Ministry Team obtained three bids for refurbishment of our organ. 

As one organ company noted, “Years of deferred maintenance has brought the instrument to the point where it is practical to consider a major renovation.  It has served the congregation well for over 50 years with minimal expense.  It stands to provide another 50 years of service to future generations.  This is truly a lasting legacy for First Presbyterian Church.” 

The replacement value of the completed instrument will be approximately $1,320,000. 

Due to the work backlog of organ companies, the refurbishment will likely not begin until 18 months after the contract is signed.

Worship & Prayer Ministry Team recommended to Session that we pursue the R.A. Colby, Inc. proposal.  The total cost in February 2022 was $557,822.  Session approved.

The pipe organ is part of our heritage and a valuable resource provided to FPC by the Lord.  Our Session is committed to preserving and stewarding this asset so that it may continue to be a part of our worship for years to come.  Foundational to such stewardship is the refurbishment and ongoing usual maintenance.

 

2. Timeline, logistics, and impact upon ministry:

Session authorized the formation of a building committee to oversee the Exalting Christ Building Project. 

Members:  Tim Morgan, Chairman, Patrick Cash, Chair B&G MT, King Askew, Mike Crego, Ryan Earnest, Phyllis Pemerton

  •  The first order of business is to interview and select a building contractor; those interviews are taking place the week of February 6th. Once the contractor is on board, they will provide us an outline of the project phasing from a construction standpoint.  The expected timeline, from the beginning of construction until completion is 18-20 months.  It is likely that construction will begin in Fall 2023.
  • Soon after the contractor is hired, the Building Committee will begin meeting with the various ministry leaders and the Pastors to determine the impact upon ministry. Additionally, the Building Committee and Architect will receive input from ministry leaders and staff regarding the specifics of their respective ministry areas, i.e., finalizing the details of the plan.
  • We will receive periodic updates from the Building Committee as we progress through the project.

 3. If we do not meet our financial goal of $12 million, what is the first priority?

The Capital Campaign Advisory Committee (“CCAC”) embraced the objective from the session to prioritize the components of the Long-Range Plan (“LRP”) before initiating a capital campaign. The CCAC has sought to filter projects through the lens of First Presbyterian Church’s mission statement. In reviewing the ministry team inputs to the LRP and ministry changes since that time, some items have moved up in priority (for example organ maintenance and King Hall seating capacity) as compared to three years ago. The truth is, we found most of the LRP components to be intertwined in each other as well as the mission statement. The commission from the session for the CCAC has been challenging. We have prioritized these projects in isolation, knowing that a construction team will have to make sense of how one area will affect adjacent areas and displace other projects.

CCAC Members:  Tim Morgan (Chair), Karen Johnson, Dr. Eddie Johnston, Cooper Evans, John Goodrich, Dr. Bill Pardue, Mike Garrett

The CCAC compiled a decision matrix to guide us as we prioritize the components of the Exalting Christ Building Project.  The full document can be obtained from the church office.  The initial priority put forth in this document is:

“It is the belief of this committee that before any future building projects are pursued that the church must first take care of deferred maintenance issues that have accumulated over the years. These projects are no longer optional. Most would have to be done even without a capital campaign. This is a Stewardship issue. Our basis for this belief is rooted in our understanding of the parable of the talents recorded in Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, Jesus commends those who were “faithful over a little” and used resources not just to maintain but multiply them. Though the church is not a building, God has given us facilities as a resource and by which His people at FPC gather for ministry.”

24 hour Prayer Vigil Frequently Asked Questions 

January 31, 2023

A Prayer Vigil is planned time devoted to prayer. Such vigils are often held on church property so that prayer time is intentional with fewer distractions. Th e focus of our Prayer Vigil is intercessory prayer or praying for the needs of others. As we pray for others, we think beyond ourselves and reflect God’s character of love and mercy.

  • "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people." Ephesians 6:18 NIV
  • "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. Th e prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16 NIV
  • "…Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." Romans 8:34 NIV
  • "Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confi dence, so that we may receive mercy and fi nd grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16 NIV
What is the focus of our Prayer Vigil?

Each of us can submit specifi c prayer requests using the Prayer Request Cards or via our website www.fpcrome.org/prayer-vigil. During the 24 hours of our vigil, we will pray for each of these requests. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we will be interceding in prayer for one another. Th is is what Scripture calls us to do!

How do I submit a Prayer Request?

You may go online to our website and complete a Prayer Request. You may complete a paper Prayer Request card and submit it either:

  • In the offering plate
  • In the wooden collection box at the Sanctuary or King Hall

Prayer Request Cards must be submitted no later than February 8th so we may compile them for our Prayer Vigil.

Why are we having a Prayer Vigil in the middle of our Exalting Christ campaign?

We know that this campaign journey is foundationally a spiritual journey. We are united in Christ Jesus. We live out our unity by sharing life together and by loving one another. Intercessory prayer is a means of loving our brothers and sisters.
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

  • "Th ere is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all." Ephesians 4:4-6
  • Our Exalting Christ campaign enables us to exalt the Lord our God individually and corporately.
  • We exalt the Lord when we give ourselves to Him as an offering. One author suggests the following prayer: I also exalt you, O Lord, by bowing before you. As I go down, so to speak, you go up. I offer myself to you as your servant. I give to you my time, my talents, my treasures. I give you my plans and dreams. Here I am, Lord, all for you.”
Where and when will our Prayer Vigil be?

We will gather in the Sanctuary for our Prayer Vigil. Th e days and times for our vigil are Friday, February 10th from 8a til 8p and Saturday, February 11th from 8a til 8p. We ask folks to sign up for a one-hour block of time on either day. You may sign up by calling LeAnn in the Church office (706.291.6033), or you may register online at www.fpcrome.org/prayer-vigil. Your registration lets us know how best to plan.

What will the format of the vigil be?

There will be a Prayer Leader for each hour. Th e Prayer Leader will organize your time. If there are fewer than 10 people at your hour of prayer, your Leader will read the prayer requests one at a time to the group. The Leader will ask for one person to pray aloud for each request. (Your Leader will ask you at the beginning of your hour if you wish to pray aloud…if you are not comfortable doing so, it is okay! The Lord hears and responds to our prayers whether they are spoken aloud or spoken silently within our hearts.)
If there are more than 10 people at your hour of prayer, the Prayer Leader may either ask you to break into smaller groups or may lead the large group through a prayer for each of the prayer requests. We expect to have 5 or 6 prayer requests per hour. If there are more, we will have a plan!

Will we spend any time in prayer for our Exalting Christ campaign?

Yes, your Prayer Leader will close your time with a prayer of thanksgiving for the Lord’s lovingkindness and provision. We will pray for the Lord to move in the hearts of our flock regarding the commitments we will receive on Sunday, February 12th.

 

Exalting Christ Campaign Frequently Asked Questions

January 17, 2023

We begin the initial phase of this 3-year campaign knowing that it is first and foremost, a spiritual journey for the flock of First Presbyterian Church. Our faithful response to this spiritual calling is to raise the funds for our mission-driven capital improvements.

How do we encourage all of our members to participate in this spiritual journey?

Utilizing the Prayer Devotional as our guide, we are calling all families to begin 40 Days of Prayer.  As we all read the same devotional and begin praying together, although we are not physically gathered together, we will be together in our hearts, minds and prayers.
Additionally, we will have a 24-hour Prayer Vigil on our campus.  This will be a time where we are, indeed, physically together during blocks of time.  We will be praying for the needs of one another and for the needs of this campaign.

What is the financial goal of this campaign?

After several years of prayerful planning and preparation by many different leaders and church members, the current estimated total cost of the project is $12 million. 
This project has many components—

  • refurbishment of our pipe organ and pulpit in the Sanctuary and upgrading the choir room
  • deferred maintenance of our Education Building, 
  • renovation of our nursery and children’s spaces to enhance access and security
  • expansion of Christian Life Center building to accommodate the administrative offices and to add additional classroom/meeting/gathering spaces for adults and families
  • expansion of King Hall to increase our worship seating capacity for this growing congregation
  • a “Connector” to add more safe means of travel from one side of our campus to the other and to provide additional meeting space>
How will we arrive at the final scope and cost of the project?

Session has authorized a Building Committee to begin the interview and selection of a contractor.  Once on board, the contractor will work with our Building Committee, Diaconate, and Session to identify areas of cost savings and to identify the most economical means of phased construction.  Along the way, ministry leaders and staff will provide vital input to the plans for their respective areas.

How will we see progress or know where we are in relation to our goal?

We will continue to communicate regularly throughout this 3-year campaign to let you know exactly where we are as a church related to reaching our goal.  Additionally, our Financial Manager will communicate with you on an individual level to let you know where you are in relation to your pledge.  If you have any questions at any time about our progress, please ask our Campaign Director or any member of our Campaign Leadership team.

What are some discernment steps for us to use as a guide as we prayerfully consider what we can give to this campaign?
  • First, pray. Take time to pray individually and specifically about this campaign and how you or your family can contribute in a faithful way.
  • Second, read God’s word. During this time of discernment, stay close to God’s word. Allow His word to instruct you, challenge you, encourage you, and help you in this process. 
  • Third, if you’re married, set aside a time to talk about this together. If you have kids, talk to them as well. Take time to listen to each other and what God is leading you to do together. 
  • Fourth, after coming up with a number you think you can give, take time to pray over that before Commitment Sunday. Sometimes the Spirit will confirm your decision or lead you to reconsider your gift. 
  • Finally, remember that the grace of God covers us. This process is first and foremost about allowing God to have his way in our hearts and lives. We want our faith to grow. We believe that what we are able to give will be used by the grace of God to further His work in this world! 
How do I give to Exalting Christ, Advancing the Gospel campaign? 

We are asking everyone to give over and above your regular general fund contribution, (tithe), to this campaign. You can do so in several different ways.

  1. Give online through our church website or app. Using Online Giving, you can choose the Exalting Christ Campaign category when you give. You can use this to give a one-time donation or to set up recurring online giving to the campaign.
  2. Give using the Exalting Christ Campaign Envelopes. This envelope can be placed in the offering plate each week when it is passed during our normal time of giving.
  3. Give through your personal bank or financial institution. You can also set up online giving directly from your banking accounts to First Presbyterian Church. However, if you choose to do this please contact our Financial Manager, Lisa Claytor to let her know how to direct this gift.
  4. Giving of Stocks. If you would like to transfer stocks or
    give in another way, please contact the Financial Manager at so that we can direct those funds to the right place. Remember to donate the stock, not sell the stock and donate the proceeds. We would not want you to lose tax deductions.
How will we involve our children and youth in this campaign? 

It’s our desire that everyone at First Presbyterian Church, including our children and students, be a part of this effort and know that every gift is valued and an important part of what we’re doing together! Our Children’s Campaign leader and Student Campaign leader are working with Mrs. Andrea and Pastor Jimmy respectively. This Campaign is truly for the benefit of our children and students!  They are the future members and leaders of First Presbyterian Church.  No doubt our children and students will lead our church in enthusiasm, creativity, and generosity!

To Know Jesus Christ and to Make Him Known

706.291.6033 EMAIL US

an EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH