- Last Updated on 07:59 AM 04/09/12
- BY Tiffany Hudson
Grace Baptist Church has once again decided to expand.
In November 2011 construction began on a two-phase project at the 1058 Buckshoal Road church that ultimately will serve as a Family Life Center gymnasium.
According to Associate Pastor Dave Cline, the first phase will include the construction of seven complete classrooms to serve both the church’s Awana program and Sunday school.
In phase two, depending on space, an additional 12 classrooms will be added upstairs.
The church voted to adopt immediate long-term and short-term goals for the plans of the church in 2007, and according to Cline, the idea for the gym has been 10 years in the making.
“We’ve talked about it for several years, the building of a gym, and there have been times when a Sunday school class would be completely full and need to start a new class, and there was nowhere to put them. There’s always a sense to grow for God and the Kingdom,” said Cline.
In developing building plans, the church considered that in the future the building may be used for a school.
“It’s in our long-range plan. We’re not talking 10 years, but we’re not talking next year either. It’s as the Lord leads us. The church is ready for the next step, and it’s a big step. We need to be ready,” said Cline.
Once the building is complete, the church also plans to work with the area Red Cross to use the building in the event a disaster hits the community for housing and feeding those affected.
The gym will be used for recreational reasons, for those who enjoy walking and by the elderly. Also planned is a children’s basketball league and cheerleading.
“We have figured out that walking around the gym for 19 laps would equal a mile. It will be open to the community but operated by the church just like everything else we do,” said Cline.
The associate pastor expects to begin Awana classes in the new building in August.
“The Awana program runs August through May, and we’ll probably move our Sunday school classes in August too. The weather can affect construction, so we’ll see how things go,” added Cline.
Cline has been an associate pastor at Grace Baptist Church for the past 10 years and said the addition of the new Family Life Center received very little objection from the church.
“The idea has been around a long time, it predates the addition of the sanctuary,” he added.
General contractors on the project, J. E. Burton Construction, and architects B & B Consultants expect construction to be complete by mid-June to early July, depending on the weather.