Give to the Changed Lives Fund
If you would like to make a one-time or set-up a recurring donation to our Changed Lives Fund, you may do so safely here.
Simply designate your contribution to "Changed Lives" in the drop-down menu.
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. 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 involved planned upgrades to our facility. We put some finishing touches on this work in 2023.
We pursued 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 was to strengthen these connections to be more effective and meaningful. The ultimate objective was 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 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. Likewise, our renovation opened the exterior wall of the main lobby with more windows for greater visibility and to create a more inviting feel. In addition, we re-positioned our large cross to the lobby so that it can be seen from the outside to build anticipation and represent God's message of hope.
People now enter the main lobby through a new set of double doors, one automated, making entry more accessible for everyone. We also positioned our new Welcome Center at a prime location under the cross. The lobby itself now functions as the main access point to the remainder of the facility.
The Children's Center is directly to the left, creating an immediate connection.
The Adult Learning Center is straight ahead, down the corridor formerly housing our mailboxes.
The Student Center is to the right through a new connecting hallway.
Our new Cafe is open and spacious with tables and soft seating areas for personal, face-to-face connections.
Entering our auditorium, people 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 provided an updated, attractive space where we corporately connect with God inside the auditorium. We also upgraded 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 promote greater connections with each other and with God for His glory.
This project was not without its costs, and the estimated total, with built-in contingencies, came in at a little over $1.4M.
To finance this project, the Trustee Board, with congregational approval, used 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 represented 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 did not start 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 2023 is to make additional loan payments totaling $250K through the Changed Lives Fund. To do so, we continue to 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 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!