Don Sloan of Chris Woods construction met today with the subcontractors to nail down the logistics for construction! It's very exciting to see things moving forward!
On April 5th, the Fund Raising Committee for the building of the new Sanctuary will welcome Rusty Lewis to consult with us during a day long strategy session for raising the the remaining 2 million dollars needed for completion of the sanctuary. At the end of this session with Rusty, we will have a clear strategy and plan for meeting our fund raising needs.
Rusty is with a fund raising group named Generis. As an organized, discerning, and effective teacher and communicator, Rusty brings a highly customized approach to each initiative, recognizing that every church is motivated by unique concerns. His passion for building relationships with compelling ministries has drawn him to serve some of the most innovative and growing churches in America, including those embracing multi-site strategies. Having partnered with churches large and small, within 15 different denominations and non-denominational churches, Rusty is skilled at creating new processes with proven methods to fit the local culture of each congregation.
You can about Generis and Rusty by going to their website at www.generis.com
Jerry Wagley, Building Committee Chair and Andy Rambo, Pastor signed today the contract between First Church and Chris Woods Construction to begin building the new sanctuary.
The construction start date will be determined and announced in the coming days.
New sanctuary will help First Methodist shine light Downtown
Reaffirming its Downtown ministry, historic First United Methodist Church will build a new sanctuary blending the traditional and modern on the corner of Poplar and Second.
Church members approved plans for the $4.1 million project to replace the 113-year-old sanctuary destroyed by fire in 2006. The church has applied for a building permit, and construction should begin soon.
The new building maintains the traditional look of a sanctuary and bell tower, reflecting the rich past of the 191-year-old First Methodist. Glass walls add a modern touch, opening the church up to its Downtown neighbors and pointing to a bright future serving that community.
“First Methodist is literally rising from the ashes to witness to God’s power and love,” said Rev. Andy Rambo. “We want our new sanctuary to be a beacon of welcome to Downtown and all of Memphis.”
Plans call for an expanse of glass on the south wall along Poplar, plus a glass wall between the foyer and sanctuary and more glass fronting an interior courtyard on the north. Continuing the theme of mixing old and new, granite from the original sanctuary will be used for Gothic detailing on the west facade on Second to tie in with the church’s education and fellowship building next door.
The new sanctuary will embody the church’s message of openness and invitation. "The large glass areas along Poplar will allow our neighbors to view activties inside the sanctuary,'' architect and church member Bill Wage wrote, allowing the “light of Jesus” to shine out. First Methodist hosts several Downtown ministries, including a food pantry, a burrito ministry and an urban bicycle food ministry.
Rebuilding began after the fire but slowed for lack of funds, leaving a frame of steel beams si]ng on a concrete slab that will be incorporated into the new sanctuary. This "open-air sanctuary'' has hosted a ministry to feed the homeless and church celebrations.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, First Methodist has raised nearly $2 million of the amount needed for construction and hopes to raise the rest without borrowing. “We are so blessed by the faithfulness of our members and the support of our neighbors,” Rambo said. “With God’s help, First Methodist will continue to spread the Gospel for the next 190 years.”