BETHLEHEM—Bethlehem Baptist Church, 7500 NC Hwy 127N, Taylorsville, NC, will break ground for a major building project on Sunday, June 11, 2017! The community is invited to the groundbreaking ceremony at 9:30am, followed by worship and a fellowship meal.
Due to a fire ignited by multiple lightning strikes on Saturday, July 18, 2015, Bethlehem Baptist Church lost two-thirds of its facilities. “Our location has changed for a while,” says pastor, Dr. Wayne Caviness, “but the God we serve is never-changing, and we are continuing in the mission to which He has called us!” On Sunday, July 19, 2015, Bethlehem Baptist Church met for worship in the gym of Bethlehem Elementary School. The church continued to meet at the school until renovations were completed on the remaining portion of the building on December 20, 2015.
Almost immediately, an insurance committee within the church began the arduous task of dealing with the insurance company. A building committee named by the church began meeting in September 2015. Winstead Architecture and Moss-Marlow Building Company were chosen for the project which will include a worship center, educational space, and family life center.
The large cross which displayed painted messages, a landmark that many identify with Bethlehem Baptist Church, was unharmed in the front yard of the sanctuary that burned. To make way for the new construction, the cross was moved to the front of the existing youth house building.
In addition to much prayer, discussion and a church-wide needs assessment, the building committee visited numerous churches to determine God’s direction for the project. Winstead Architecture took the input from the committee and produced architectural renderings for the proposed construction, which were presented to the church on July 17, 2016. “We were blown away by what they did,” says building committee chairman Dwayne Simmons. “We never really talked about a ‘look’. We expressed the needs we wanted the facility to meet, and turned it over to them. The results far exceeded our expectations!”
The new facility includes a new 9,000+ square foot Sanctuary that seats approximately 498 on the main floor. Seating for another 98 in the second level balcony and room for approximately 50 on the 900 square foot stage. The unique design of the sanctuary ensures that there is not a bad seat in the house.
The new Baptistry will have restrooms and accommodations for dressing, and a new Prayer Room will have a dramatic view of the glass windows that help to form the cross in the front tower.
The new Narthex flows into the new centralized Welcome Center with a large Information Counter and a large Coffee Bar for members and guests.
The new 6,300 square foot Family Life Center will accommodate an 85′ x 46′ basketball court and a full size volleyball court. There will be a 600+ square foot Commercial Grade Kitchen and a large storage area for tables and chairs. The space will accommodate approximately 300+ for dining.
The new facility includes a two story educational space with nearly 20,000 square feet of Administrative and Classroom space. A covered drive area allows for a protected area for the pick-up and drop-off of members and guests.
A new entryway from the back parking area provides a central accessible entry for everyone. The new entry provides an elevator and stairway accessible to all floors both new and existing. It also provides a link from the new facility to the existing education and fellowship space. The second floor of the entry provides a 330 square foot lounge area filled with natural light.
Multiple classrooms on the first level have exterior access with outdoor fenced play area.
The new facility will have a new site entry from a stoplight at the existing intersection of NC Highway 127 and Teague Town Road.
Moss-Marlow received working drawings for the construction in November 2016. Once these plans were accepted, they went through an approval process with Alexander County. Approval has been received and the official groundbreaking set.
“Our community has been amazing,” says Dr. Caviness. “Fire departments from Alexander, Catawba, and Caldwell counties, EMS, law enforcement, county personnel, and many business and community volunteers helped save the educational building from a complete loss. These efforts were just the beginning of an overwhelming outpouring of love and support! To each individual, business, organization, and church family who has reached out in any way through this challenging time…WE ARE TRULY GRATEFUL.”
“On behalf of the Bethlehem Baptist Church family,” continues Caviness, “I would like to invite our community to a Celebration Sunday on June 11, 2017. We are excited about the plans for a new worship center, educational space, and family life center. It is our desire that these facilities will honor God, and that He will bless them to be powerful tools to impact our community and world for Jesus Christ now and for generations to come.”
For more information about Bethlehem Baptist Church, call 828.495.7250, visit www.bethlehembc.org, or like them on Facebook.