"EXPANDING OUR MINISTRY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME"
Thank you for your interest in our facilities expansion. You can find general information here, including videos, architectural drawings (drafts), and Q&A. Questions may be directed to Mark Suko, Dave Christensen, Jake Nelson or any board member. On December 10, 2017, our church voted officially and overwhelmingly to begin this project. God’s people have continued to contribute generously of their time, talents, prayers, and finances. Over the last 3 years we have received nearly $50,000 per year designated for our Building Fund, far surpassing the initial commitments to our capital fund raising efforts. (Click for video.) We are currently obtaining construction permits and additional capital funding, and expect to begin construction in the fall of 2019. Updated, full-color project booklets can be found in the church foyer. Thank you for your prayers and participation as we seek God's continued direction, provision, and glory in this endeavor.
"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31
THOUGHTS FROM PASTOR MARK...
(Click to watch 4 detailed videos presented to the church in Nov 2014.)
CURRENT ARCHITECTURAL DRAWINGS (click to expand)
The following Q&A is based on discussions with building consultants and people in our church over the past couple years. If you have additional questions or input, please feel free to speak with any board members. Open communication is important to us and we value the perspective that every person in our church family offers.
What is our vision & purpose for this project?
Ever since God blessed us with this property in 1995, our chief purpose for construction has been fulfillment of the Great Commission. As Paul reminded Timothy, we are "the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth" (I Tim. 3:15). This Master Plan is not primarily about buildings—it's about people. Reaching people with the Gospel. Serving people with the love of Christ. Equipping people with the power of the Word. And doing all of this for God's own glory.
This is not just about us and our needs now—it's about our children and their children. It's about their needs and the ministry we anticipate God will perform for many generations, should the Lord tarry (Matt. 28:18-20; Heb. 10:24-25; 1 Cor. 15:58). We are also aware that God has blessed us with a prime, central location in the rapidly growing community of Gig Harbor. Our goal is to be good stewards of this property, both now and in the future.
Shouldn't we pour our financial resources into evangelism and Discipleship?
Yes! That is exactly what having a Kingdom focus is all about. Each of our campus upgrades has put us in a better position to expand our outreach, both locally and internationally. Here are a few pertinent statistics:
Increased Attendance. Between 1995 and 2004 our attendance in the barn grew from 70 to 120. Between 2004 and 2015 our attendance in the new auditorium grew from 120 to nearly 180. Praise God for the opportunity to minister to and worship with more people.
Increased Giving. Our general fund giving increased from $116,484 in 2004 (the year before we moved into our current auditorium) to $178,116 in 2006 (the year after). During the same period, our missions budget increased from $23,829 to $38,506. Those are significant increases for 2 years. What's even more interesting to note is that missions giving started climbing in 2003—right at the infant stages of the new building project! What a joy to see God's people pour their resources into missions even as they built the new auditorium.
Increased Population. The Gig Harbor Peninsula population has grown by at least 14% since 2000. With the new bridge, population is likely to continue growing at this rate or higher. Job growth is expected to double that rate. In our strategic, central location, we want to maximize the property and buildings God has entrusted to us so we can reach the next generation more effectively. That is why we pray, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done right here in Gig Harbor… and in Quincy and Ohio and Brazil and Ukraine... just as it is in Heaven."
Why build when we aren't holding double-services and maxing out classroom space?
While additional room for future growth is beneficial, there are other significant factors to consider as well:
The current "relaxed" building codes. In July 2015 we were approved to build under a “minor amendment” status, which means less costs and restrictions..
Efficient layout of classrooms and offices. Operating a church out of a 5-bedroom, 3.5 bath house has certainly been doable, but as we grow in size, it is clearly becoming less and less efficient.
Handicap access to the whole facility. The fact that we have five separate flights of stairs throughout the upper facility (particularly the descent in the dismal abyss where our precious nursery is located) is a matter of great concern, both in terms of handicap access as well as safety.
Larger auditorium for special events. Our current auditorium was originally designed to be larger, but had to be reduced due to a change in code. Codes have changed again and now allow us to add 24 feet (over 40%) in length to our auditorium (a simple construction addition). This would not only accommodate larger Sunday services, but also larger weddings, funerals, and other special events that we have had to go off-campus for in the past. It also allows more room between rows, the addition of a third aisle, and a larger platform.
Physical Conduct and Accountability. Having classrooms on various floors (including the basement and the barn across the driveway) is not conducive to "accountability" in terms of people being "alone" in far-off rooms (particularly with children). Our current education wing plan brings all rooms onto one floor with high visibility.
The experience and wisdom of our current Senior Pastor. Mark has been with our church since day one, and has wisely and prudently shepherded us through each building phase so far. We place tremendous value on having him shepherd us through this final expansion.
Additional benefits include... a Family Ministry Center (multi-purpose room), larger kitchen, larger foyer, additional paved parking, and substantial indoor/basement storage.
(Note that holding double-services would only exacerbate the concerns mentioned above.)
As you can see, these are significant benefits (should the Lord lead) that would serve our church and enhance our ministry to the community for many generations (1 Cor. 14:40).
Would it be better to save and pay cash?
The board has wrestled through this very question since the beginning of our master planning. We find ourselves going back to how faithfully God provided for our current auditorium. Rather than working with a local bank, we were privileged to receive a loan from the Baptist Network Northwest Revolving Fund—a fund setup specifically to support new and growing churches in the NW. Finances are once again available to us. The money comes from like-minded investors, and the interest we pay in turn helps support future churches. We love this concept. With our accelerated payment plan, we were able to pay off our past 30-year loan in 11 years (paid in full as of April 2015—praise God).
Thanks to God's provision through the faithful giving of the church family, we are in an excellent financial position to build once again. We intend to implement the same accelerated plan on a new loan. From a statistical/practical perspective, and with the constant rise in construction costs, this loan could be paid off well before we could save the cash to build. This is also due to the fact that a turn-key construction project would provide significant room for growth now rather than in 10-15 years. Regardless of what financial route we go, we are reminded that this endeavor is 100% a matter of faith in a God who provides. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it" (Ps. 127:1; Jam. 1:5).
Is the whole board in agreement on this?
Our church board operates on the "unanimity principle." If all members were not in support, we would not move forward. After much prayer and deliberation amongst ourselves (and with the rest of the church family and with outside professional advisors), we can confidently say that the whole board believes this is the direction God is leading us (Phil. 2:2; 1 Cor. 1:10).
GIVING SO FAR
Our present building fund balance (June 2019) is more than $430,000, and we have already paid almost $200,000 to consultants, engineers, master planning, architectural work and permitting. This is a tremendous testimony to the providing hand of God, as well as a testimony of the faith, confidence, and vision that the family and friends of DBC have for “expanding our ministry for generations to come.”
All of our pre-construction architectural, engineering, demolition, and permitting fees will come out of our building fund. As soon as construction begins, we will borrow funds from Baptist Northwest (BNN) Net Revolving Fund as we did for our last project. BNN has approved funding for our project. We will use our building fund to provide bridging finance during construction, and once construction is completed, any remaining funds will be applied to our loan. Designated giving to the “building fund” (as well as the monthly amount from the general fund) continues to accrue while we wait for permits to be approved, and will reduce the amount we will eventually need to borrow.
Some have asked whether they can lend money to the church for this project. The best way to do this is to invest in BNN Revolving Fund which will lend us the money you invest. We will provide more information on this opportunity when we move ahead with the loan. If you are interested in finding out more now, go to baptistnetworknw.org and click on “Revolving Fund.”
CAPITAL FUND DRIVEs
On February 28, 2016 we held our “Ministry & Faith Celebration Banquet.” More than $80,000 was pledged. This drive came to an end in March 2018 and the total received was $100,428 was given, far exceeding the pledged amount. Due to the expanded project scope and increased giving that occurred in 2018-19, we called for a second business meeting in April 2019. The result of that was a united vote from the leadership and church family to pursue the entire project. A brief appeal was made for a second capital fund drive, and an additional $200,000+ was committed by the church family over the next 2 years. We give thanks to our Heavenly Father for blessing us with the faithful and sacrificial giving of His people.
LOAN DETAILS AT THIS POINT
Amount to borrow: The exact loan amount has not yet been determined and will be finalized once we have a good understanding of the scope of the project (which is somewhat dictated by county requirements as well as firm bids from contractors). Our anticipated interest rate: 6% p.a. with monthly accrual of interest and payment. Loan duration: 30 years. At this rate and term, starting repayments will be $599.56 per month for every $100,000 borrowed. We plan to accelerate repayment of this loan as we did for our last construction loan. Terms of the loan will be reviewed every 5 years and terms may be renegotiated with BNN Revolving Fund. The maximum increase in interest rate is 3%. The property and building will serve as security for the loan.
NEXT STEPS: 2019 CONSTRUCTION
Our consultants and architects have guided us through the Master Planning stage, Pierce County has approved our plans as a “minor amendment,” project details have been presented to the church and approved, and the architects are now in the process of obtaining our final permit to build. In July 2017 our Phase 1 construction permit request was successfully submitted to the county. However, since then funding has become available to pursue the entire project and we have now applied for a complete construction permit. Lord willing, we will have an official groundbreaking ceremony during the fall of 2019, The project is expected to last approximately 6-7 months.
Thank you for joining us in prayer throughout this process. May the Lord build His church as we proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31
Project Vision (5 min)
Project Timeline (6 min)