In early 2015 the Church Council commissioned a team to explore What’s Next for First Baptist Church. At the end of August Council brought three recommendations to the congregation based on the work of the What’s Next Team. During the month of September we invited the congregation to participate in a 31-day devotional, Going Places with God, that explores location and discerning God’s will through scripture and prayer. During October Council hosted four Forums to provide more information about these recommendations and to listen to the congregation. The information presented is here.
1. The Church Council recommends that the following mission, vision and ministry priorities be adopted and used to shape and develop the ministry of First Baptist Church.
Mission: Loving God, Loving Others
Vision: First Baptist Church seeks to be a church family that inspires life transformation through the love of the Triune God.
Ministry Priorities: Worship, Discipleship, Fellowship, Outreach, Leadership
2. The Church Council recommends that, upon 75% affirmative vote of the congregation, major renovation of the current facility should no longer be considered an option.
3. The Church Council recommends that, based on review of the documentation of eight months of prayerful study and research by the What’s Next Team, that, upon 75% affirmative vote of the congregation, we advance the future of First Baptist Church by relocation of ministries to a property that fulfills the greatest outreach potential, meets our standards of good stewardship and provides for execution of the mission and vision of the church. This will be the fourth home of First Baptist Church.
The congregation will vote on these recommendations on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 10:00 a.m. We pray for discernment and unity as the congregation comes together. Ephesians 4:1-6, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and on 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.”
Following are responses to frequently asked questions at the Forums.
1. Why are we changing the mission and vision statements?
Many people asked could not state the mission and vision of First Baptist Church. The concept of discipleship is unfamiliar and not particularly welcoming to new Christians and unchurched people who look at our web site or visit First Baptist. “Loving God, Loving Others” is an inclusive, welcoming, relatable statement to people of ages and church backgrounds. We are not abandoning the important concept of discipleship as it is one of our five ministry priorities.
2. How was the 75% affirmative vote determined?
Many resources will be needed to relocate to a new property. An affirmative vote indicates support for moving forward with raising funds, searching for and evaluating property, designing a new building or remodeling/renovating an existing campus, and many other tasks. Council feels that a 75% affirmative vote indicates congregational support of time, talent and treasure needed to continue the discussion and planning.
3. What was the outcome of the First Baptist Space Committee recommendations in 1993 and 2004?
The 1993 recommendation was defeated by the congregation. The 2004 recommendation did not make it to a congregational vote.
4. What has changed since recommendations were made in 1993 and 2004?
While the recommendation is the same, to relocate, many things have changed to make it both necessary and possible at this time. This facility was an effective tool of ministry for many years. With changes in ministry to children and youth, worship styles and fellowship/connection, we believe that this facility is longer the most effective tool. As the facility continues to age maintenance of an aging facility will likely be a significant budget item. We have a passionate, committed staff and strong lay leadership to make such a change possible at this time.
5. How much will relocation cost?
Using current building costs and land prices rough estimates range from a low price of $8,000,000 to a high of $12,000,000.
6. What can we expect as a selling price for our current building?
The rule of thumb for church selling prices is 20-25% of the replacement value. The replacement value for First Baptist has recently been estimated to be $9,229,000.
We look forward to seeing you on Sunday. Continue to pray as the congregation of First Baptist Church considers this important decision.
First Baptist Church Council
Mary Frederick Jeff Aegerter
Terry Stoltenow David Hilderbrand
Carla Miller James Oldham
Nathan Schock Warren Hoffman