What If Essential Had a Permanent Home?
On March 25, 2018 we had baptisms outside. A woman drove by and noticed. She went home and told her husband. Her husband is the last remaining deacon at an older church that has been declining for some time. A few days later he called me. The deacon, James Hicks, told me that they only have about 20 people left at the church. And...
He wanted to offer us the entire building and property....for FREE!
But just because someone wanted to give us a building, it doesn't mean we'd take it. I mean where is the building and what kind of shape is it in??
It's 0.9 miles from our current location in Five Points and it's in amazing condition.
The Essential Staff went and saw the building, skeptical at first. But when we saw it we couldn't believe it. The space is amazing. Yes, the decor is dated. But fresh floors, pain and a few cosmetic change can make this a very vibrant building.
This is a gift from God. It's a building to use as a launching pad to reach Huntsville and beyond with the Gospel.
I can't wait to see what happens NEXT.
NEXT is our initiative that will provide the necessary resources for us to move into and renovate an entire church building that has been given to us for free. The costs for this project come to $180,000. This will include design costs, construction costs, and furnishings. Furthermore, the first 10% of all gifts will be given to our Strategic Partners. So, the entire goal for NEXT is $200,000. There will be a part for each of us to play in this endeavor. We are asking every person/family at Essential to make a one-time gift (August 12), as well as a two-year commitment to NEXT above and beyond your regular gifts to Essential.
Why We Believe This Is A Gift From God:
1. A few weeks ago, Kristin Milner dropped off her oldest child for violin lessons. She had some time on her hands so she drove around the neighborhood. She parked in front of a church building and fell in love with it. Yep. It was the church. Two weeks later Tim would be calling her and telling her that building is being offered to us for free.
2. One of the first people Tim told was Ed Word who is on Essential Church’s Advisory Council (along with Darren Brewer and Brian Dye). Ed told his wife, Carmen Word. Carmen, who works in Guntersville told her coworker, who is a Christian. Carmen, speaking to the coworkers said, and I quote, “A woman drove by and saw us baptizing outside.” The coworker cut Carmen off and said, “That woman is going to give you a free baptistry. Wait. No. That woman is going to give you a free church building.”
3. Beginning in 2019, Essential Church must be financially on it’s own. Up to this point other churches have helped us financially. Currently, we are projecting a budget deficit in 2019 of $55,000. Tim has prayed and fasted for this $55,000 deficit on 3 separate days. It was a couple weeks after the 3rd day of prayer and fasting Tim received the offer for this free building. The difference in cost from the current building and this one? $55,000/year.
What Will Change?
Location: The new building is 0.9 miles from our current location. It is within our original target zone of the “downtown area” as we have defined as south of 565, north of Drake, east of the Parkway and west of the mountain.
Kids Space: There will be a radical improvement. We will essentially get to create space to our needs. We currently have 4 kids classrooms. The new place will contain at least 7 (with the option for more if needed). There will also be a drop off point for families. We will provide a check-in at the drop off zone to make child drop off and pick up safer and faster.
Group Meeting Space: There will be several environments created that will be more fitting for our community groups to meet.
Youth: There will finally be designated space for our youth!
Worship: Capacity will increase to 325 (currently, capacity is 250).
Costs: Currently, 1806 University costs about $6,300/month. That is a lot of money (to be fair, we shopped around extensively and that is a reasonable price). The monthly costs of the new building will be an estimated $1,700. This is a savings of $55,200/year. In 30 years, this move will result in approximate $3,000,000 more dollars going into ministry, and not rent!
Building: The 801 Beirne building will see significant upgrades. The walls, flooring, lighting and most of the ceilings will be improved. In certain places rooms will be added and in other places rooms will be
Your NEXT Step
On Sunday, August 12th, we will have COMMITMENT DAY. On this day please bring your completed NEXT Commitment Card along with your one-time gift. During worship we will have a special time where we bring our NEXT gifts to the altar. This will be a special moment in both of our services for our church as we give generously so we may lay a foundation for a permanent presence in the Huntsville downtown area for the Gospel.
Below is a sample of the Commitment Card. If you have not already received one, please be sure to pick one up at either of the entrances on Sunday morning. Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and he can make arrangements to get you one.
Most of us either rent an apartment (or house), or we pay a mortgage for a home. What if someone handed you the keys to a nice, spacious, comfortable house in a great neighborhood FREE OF CHARGE with no strings attached? Would you take the offer of a FREE home? God, in His sovereignty, has done just that for Essential Church. Through the movement of the Holy Spirit, the people of 5 Points Baptist have graciously and generously GIFTED their buildings/ facilities to us! I’m astounded by their act of selfless service and sacrifice. This kind of generosity is a sure and trustworthy manifestation that this transaction is “of the Lord!”
In practical terms, here’s what this GIFT could mean to Essential Church:
1. God has given us a wonderful, usable facility in the “heart of HSV!”
2. The 5 Points (and surrounding areas) are ripe for the kind of ministry God delivers through Essential Church!
3. Our “new” facility can become a “community resource”, used and enjoyed by the surrounding neighborhoods – a gathering place!
4. We would have sufficient space to grow our children and youth ministries.
5. With NO mortgage (or lease) think of the ministry that can be accomplished with our financial resources. As a church, we would have financial freedom!
Envision Essential Church 5 years from today. What do you see? I see a thriving, Christ centered church that is going, giving, serving, connecting, and practicing servant leadership from a “home base” in the heart of HSV!
During my first tour of the Beirne Avenue facility, I was deeply moved by a hand written prayer on a classroom chalkboard, “Dear Lord, Please fill this room!” What an angelic prayer about filling the room again with a holy purpose. I praise God and thank the Five Points Baptist Church membership for this extraordinary gift. With a permanent facility, we have an amazing opportunity to focus even more of our energy, talents, and resources on worship, evangelism, fellowship, discipleship, and ministry…the Essential purpose for our Church!
When I first heard what was being offered I knew that God was affirming what Essential was doing and the path that we were on. Now I’m convinced that He (God) has a plan and that we have a role to play in that plan. I am very excited and curious to see how God will use Essential in this new space.
Every ministry team at Essential Church will benefit from this new space. Not only that, I believe our entire city will benefit from Essential having a permanent home from which we can care for our friends and neighbors.
Now: Pray and listen. How does God want you to support this opportunity?
August 4- Until Completion: Construction and renovation. There will be Saturday work-days where you can serve.
August 12: Commitment Sunday Give a one time gift and 2 year commitment. Use the NEXT commitment envelope. Lay at the altar during the special time of prayer and worship.
August 26: Celebration Sunday We will celebrate the resources God has provided for this building!!
End of Year/Beginning of Next Year: First service at our new building - 801 Beirne.
Until the new building is complete, all services and activities will resume as normal at our current location at 1806 University Drive.