The congregation enthusiastically embraced the IMPACT renovation plan and pledged 100% of the original campaign goal of $6,263,000 under the leadership of John Bell and Dave Borden.
In 2019, the Trustees engaged WK Upchurch Construction Company and Foshee Architecture to act as the contractor and architect for the project. The Trustees selected a building committee and continued the process of meeting with church user groups to discern the specific needs to meet the goals of the IMPACT Campaign: to honor and live up to the commitment, sacrifice, and vision of those forbears who built this beautiful cathedral in the pines during the Depression. All this is to provide ministry spaces that support God’s important work.
Drawings were completed in the late Spring of 2020, after the onset of the COVID pandemic, and submitted to the contractor to determine contract pricing. The costs of materials and labor increased dramatically during COVID, and the original HVAC estimate increased by almost 300% due to recommendations to replace the entire system in the Children’s Building. On numerous occasions, the Trustees and Building Committee met with the contractor and architect to review increases in scope from the user group meetings. They also met extensively with the contractor and architect to undertake an extensive value engineering process to reduce contract costs, where practicable, while achieving the high quality that our forbears and congregation would expect.
In the meantime, the Trustees executed a contract with Schoenstein & Co. for the design and installation of the pipe organ, console, and casework. After viewing the design of the casework, the organ committee requested that the architect, working with Schoenstein, assist with a redesign of the casework to match the beautiful wood design in the chancel, specifically the beautiful reredos and other carvings. The Building Committee also approved a very effective wall treatment to improve the sound quality in the Sanctuary. Together, these resulted in an approximate 20% increase in the cost of the organ and Sanctuary improvements.
Significant upgrades were made to A/V technology and security cameras throughout the campus, and the former Tower Class Sunday School room is now a state-of-the-art Children’s Worship Room.
In addition to pledges collected to date, a number of congregants have given $200,000 sacrificially over their pledge amounts. The Trustees and Finance Committee approved $1,700,000 in designated and unrestricted surplus funds, and pledges paid before the start of construction earned $43,000 in interest. The Trustees and Finance Committee have prudently managed the costs and church funds to avoid having to draw on a construction loan to avoid interest costs. The Church also realized $122,000 in sales tax savings. A detailed schedule of IMPACT costs and funding may be accessed below.
The result of the faithful efforts of the congregation and leadership is a beautifully renovated and updated campus to the glory of God. The Trustees contemplate a supplemental fundraise of $500,000 to accommodate the increased cost.
In 1931, the dedicated members of Court Street Methodist Church decided to move the church to what was then the hinterlands of Montgomery, Cloverdale Park. During the dark days of the Great Depression they undertook a building project that resulted in the beautiful “Cathedral in the Pines” we so love today, with the Sanctuary being completed in 1943. During construction they encountered many obstacles, including the tragic gas explosion destroying the Children’s Building. At one point, to continue construction, church members mortgaged some of their own property to provide funds to complete the buildings.
These intrepid First United Methodist Church members of the greatest generation left us an endearing and permanent legacy to their faith in God’s work. We now have an opportunity to honor their legacy through our prayerful consideration in providing for our own legacy endowment gifts to FUMC.
Please look over the Legacy Giving Brochure by clicking on the button below. You may also contact Ed Reifenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org more information.
FUMC has received the audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2023. The audit was conducted by Aldridge Borden & Co. FUMC received a clean opinion and a report showing no internal control issues. The report shows FUMC in a strong financial position as of June 30, 2023.