"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 January 24, 2016, our church voted to fund and perform this new construction. We are praising God for nearly $40,000 in special offerings that were given to help launch this multi-generational effort. Our "Ministry & Faith Celebration" capital fund drive banquet took place on February 28, 2016 in which another $80,000 was pledged. Click for video. (Updated, full-color project booklets and giving commitment cards 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
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. We now have 2 years to apply for the actual building permit, which gives us plenty of time to pray, research, raise capital funds, etc.
- 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 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
As of November 22, 2016, we have paid over $155,000 in cash towards consultation, master planning, architectural work and permitting. This is a tremendous testimony to 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.” We also plan to pay cash for the remaining architectural fees and permitting fees. After that, the construction loan and capital fundraising will apply.
CAPITAL FUND DRIVE
On February 28, 2016 we held our “Ministry & Faith Celebration Banquet.” This time of reflecting on the faithfulness and mighty hand of God in the past will be the source of our faith moving into the future. Over $80,000 has been committed during this capital fund drive and will offset the size of the loan from the Baptist Network Northwest Revolving Fund, thus reducing the cost of interest over the life of the loan. (See page 9 regarding this fund.)
LOAN DETAILS AT THIS POINT
Amount to borrow: The bid we have accepted for this entire project is just under $1,800,000. We will pay cash for a portion of this. The exact loan amount is still to be determined based on cash on hand throughout construction, and based on the needs as they arise in the 2-phased approach mentioned below. Anticipated interest rate: 6% p.a. with monthly accrual of interest and payment. At this rate, starting repayments will be $716.43 per month for every $100,000 borrowed. Loan duration: 20 years or less. 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. Maximum increase in interest rate: 3%. The property and building shall serve as security for the loan. It is expected that our starting monthly repayments will be less than the final payments made on our last construction loan in 2015.
NEXT STEPS: TWO-PHASE CONSTRUCTION
Our consultants and architects have guided us through the Master Planning stage, Pierce County has approved our plans as a “minor amendment,” fundamental project details have been presented to the church and approved, and the architect’s are now in the process of obtaining our final permit to build. After much prayer and deliberation, the board has unanimously voted to take a two-phase approach to construction. This approach is very financially conservative and minimizes risk/stress.
PHASE 1 (smaller): Build out the sanctuary extension, expand parking, complete storm drainage work for both phases.
PHASE 2 (larger): Build all other facilities (foyer, offices, education wing, kitchen, multi-purpose room).
In July of 2017 our Phase 1 construction permit request was successfully submitted to the county. Lord willing, we are looking to an official groundbreaking ceremony around October of 2017, and Phase 1 construction is expected to be completed within a few months. Phase 2 will take place as soon as the Lord leads and finances are available for the final loan. 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)
10-Month Estimated Timeline (6 min)