The Central Baptist Story

How old is your newest building? That is a question we raise in this edition of the Stewardship Journal as we begin a series in the month of June about project development for churches. As we often do, we wanted to hear real-life stories from MBC pastors about how their church was handling their building needs. The Stewardship Journal team caught up with Pastor Dennis Gard of Central Eureka for this interview.

The Stewardship Journal:  Dennis, thanks for taking the time to share your experience about how Central Baptist is addressing its building needs. First, start by telling us a bit about what you are considering.

Dennis:  We are working on a sanctuary renovation, so your opening question is a good one as it’s been over 20 years since it was last addressed. We are in the design stage right now but should be ready for construction in February 2023.

The Stewardship Journal:  Have your plans been changed as a result of Covid?

Dennis:  We have not adjusted our building plans because of COVID other than starting two services about 18 months ago. We’ve continued the two services, not because of COVID, but because of current growth. Our building holds about 235, and we are now running an average of 160 in church, 45 in the first service, and 115 in the second. If we combined the services, we’d be just under the 80/20 rule for capacity and might limit growth. Plus, many of our first service attendees enjoy getting out early. Therefore, we will continue having two services as long as we need the space.

The Stewardship Journal:  How do you plan on raising the money you need to complete this project?

Dennis:  Part of the money we will use will come from interest earned on investment funds and a portion will come from money we’ve committed from reserves. However, about $120,000 will need to be raised. We decided NOT to do individual building campaign pledges, but instead, we will simply do several large offering reminders and keep the goal before the people, asking for them to give.

The Stewardship Journal:  What is your reasoning for not holding a traditional capital campaign?

Dennis:  Our reasoning is twofold: (1) we only have 6-9 months to raise the money and preparing for a campaign takes longer and typically is a long-term commitment. We need to raise the money quickly. (2) CBC has over $1 million in cash reserves on hand, and it is difficult to ask people to commit to a long-term giving program when you have capital that can be spent. We plan on raising as much as we can by the start of construction and then the rest will come from the reserves. We will then ask the people to “payback” what we use from our cash reserves.

The Stewardship Journal:  How will you go about raising the money?

Dennis:  Right now, we are doing the following:

  1. We will set up a remodel display area in the foyer to draw attention to the need and to build excitement for what is to come.
  2. We intend to create a slogan to cast a vision and keep the idea of giving before the people.
  3. We will have a build-up to a one-day giving effort and try to hit at least 50% of the goal in one day. This will take several weeks of advertising and encouragement.
  4. As we progress towards our goal, we will celebrate milestones in giving and keep a visual reminder of our progress before the people.

The Stewardship Journal:  Thanks for sharing your story, Dennis. We pray God’s richest blessings upon CBC Eureka.

Hey, MBC pastor! What is your story regarding building and renovations? We would love to hear from you. If you are in the planning stages of building or finished a project let us know. You can contact Rob Phillips at rphillips@mobaptist.org.

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