The vision of First Free Church is to see people know God's life-changing power and love, grow in community, and live out his truth daily. Entering a new season of ministry, we're pursuing this vision in seven primary ways:
- Growing healthy disciples
- Welcoming more people
- Equipping next-generation leaders
- Upgrading our facilities
- Expanding multimedia ministry
- Deepening our reach into our communities
- Revitalizing global ministries
Pursuing these seven goals will help us fulfill our shared mission of guiding people into becoming healthy followers of Jesus Christ.
A highly anticipated part of our ministry vision involves planned upgrades to our facility.
We've designed these upgrades to promote connections at three levels:
- Physically with the building
- Relationally with others
- And, most importantly, spiritually with God
The goal of the planned upgrades and changes to our facility is to strengthen these connections to be more effective and meaningful. The ultimate objective is connecting people to God, primarily in the worship setting. Glorifying God is our purpose in life and why God created us. Even a nonbeliever can sense something profound in our corporate worship. Therefore, we've designed the planned improvements to attract and draw people into these connections.
We get one chance to make a first impression. Even before people enter the lobby, we want them to feel invited - which is why we play music outside, keep our parking lot paved and marked, maintain our landscape, and greet people with a revamped Welcome Team. We will open the exterior wall of the main lobby with more windows for greater visibility and to create a more inviting feel. In addition, there will be a new lighted cross in the lobby that can be seen from the outside to build anticipation and represent God's message of hope.
People will enter the main lobby through a new set of double doors, one automated, making entry more accessible for everyone. The new Welcome Center will be at the prime location under the cross. The lobby itself will function as the main access point to the remainder of the facility.
- The Children's Center will be directly to the left, creating an immediate connection.
- The Adult Learning Center will be straight ahead, down the corridor formerly housing our mailboxes.
- The Student Center will be to the right through a new connecting hallway.
- The new Cafe will be open and spacious with tables and soft seating areas to serve as a fellowship area for personal, face-to-face connections.
To enter the auditorium, you will pass by the foot of a cross through a new set of double doors, symbolizing how the cross gives us access to a relationship with the Father and true worship. The renovations will provide an updated, attractive space where we corporately connect with God inside the auditorium. We will also upgrade the platform to serve our purposes better.
The church is not a building: it's the gathered people of God. However, these improvements to our facility will promote greater connections with each other and with God for His glory.
This project is not without its costs, and the estimated total, with built-in contingencies, comes in at a little over $1.4M.
To finance this project, the Trustee Board, with congregational approval, will use two sources of funds: reserve funds and a construction loan.
The Trustee Board committed over $400K of reserve funds to this project resulting from wise stewardship over many years. They represent the legacy of saints who have gone on before us. They also reflect our congregation's history of generosity, including gifts to what was once called the "Lobby Upgrade Project."
Because we are not starting from zero, the membership approved a motion in August 2021 that allowed the Trustee Board to seek a construction loan of up to $1M, secured from S&T Bank at an initial rate of 2.9%.
As God graciously enables through your generosity, we hope to minimize and pay off this loan as quickly as possible. To do so, we launched the Changed Lives Fund.
Our goal for the remainder of 2022 is to make additional loan payments totaling $250K through the Changed Lives Fund. To do so, we will employ three strategies.
First, the Trustee Board hopes to allocate prudent amounts from any operational surplus to additional loan payments.
Second, the Trustee Board will allocate surplus funds from the Building Fund toward additional payments while ensuring sufficient reserves for necessary repairs.
Finally, we've created the Changed Lives Fund (formerly "Lobby Upgrade") as the central location for funds designated for reducing the loan balance.
Help Change Lives at First Free Church
To see more people know God's life-changing power and love, grow in community, and live out his truth daily, we need you. Specifically, we're asking every member and friend of First Free Church to:
Ask God what or how He wants you to give as an individual or family.
Remain open to how He wants you to contribute to the growth of His Kingdom at First Free.
Take a brave step of faith and follow through on His leading. We ask everyone who calls First Free their church home to support regular operations and prayerfully consider additional giving toward the Changed Lives Fund.
Prepare to see how God works through us to accomplish His will.
Thank you for your continued support of this ministry!