The Bathroom Project is about to take off . . .
I’ve had my eye on tackling a bathroom project since I first got here. Truthfully, I can remember when I was the youth pastor at the church back in 2001 and thinking in my mind about how to build some bathrooms for the church. In yesteryear, the bathrooms were fine one might would say, at least by commonly held standards. Honestly, they’ve always been small and they’re not even close to being handicapped accessible. The church has had individuals attend services that were handicapped, used a walker, or simply had a hard time getting around, and the people would have to leave the church building to go find a bathroom should they need to go during the service. This shouldn’t be. How can this church say they are a church for everyone when its facilities and structure isn’t available for everyone?
Laws have been put in place in the last decade or so mandating new building constructions be built handicapped accessible. The number of people in wheelchairs and walkers is growing especially with wars going on and our men and women in the midst of the combat. Beyond wartime injuries, car crashes, diseases, and accidents in general contribute to disabilities around the nation. Old structures already built before the law were “grandfathered” in as many may or may not have the money to construct ramps, bathrooms, etc. Our church building would be considered a “grandfathered” building, but having that status doesn’t make it satisfactory.
So as I’ve said, I set my eyes on building new bathrooms for the church. It was towards the very bottom of my projects list if truthfully, but it seems that month by month, we kept striking off another project. Now, here we are. I told a few people when I first arrived that I had some lofty goals for year one of my pastorate here. By my 13 month mark, I wanted us to shoot for having built a new nursery, remodeled our sanctuary stage, and built new bathrooms. Of course I had many other projects on the list, but I saw these three as being the biggest in terms of money, time, and work. I didn’t anticipate us getting to some of the projects we’ve completed or paying off two loans in the process. God has just been overly good to us. There’s no other way to say it.
With the carpet paid for in July and our plans to lay new carpet in the Mini-Kids Church room in August, it’s now time to turn our attention towards our bathroom project. I’ve already held preliminary meetings with a few individuals in construction and plumbing. I presented this project to the church in June for their consideration and a resounding “YES!” was given. I have been working on a project budget of what we can expect to spend. I’m not ready to release that budget figure quite yet because we’re still early in the game and nothing is completely set in stone. But by all estimates and in talking with two or three people knowledgeable about this kind of project, we have a pretty good idea of what it’s going to take. I haven’t made that figure known but to only a few people. Last night, God showed He knew better than us all.
The budget for the bathrooms is going to be a big undertaking. If you combine all of the projects we’ve already completed, including debts paid off, this project might end up near the sum. But last night, the ball started rolling. A check was turned in from an anonymous donor that may very well cover close to ¾ or more of the expected budgeted project cost. As figures become more concrete, I will share what the actual project budget is and what the actual donation was that came in. For now, suffice it to say, God has done it again. The project is about to get started and my hope is that by Homecoming Sunday, October 12th, things will look mighty different.
If you’ve not been to the church, or it’s been a while since you have, you can see a rough draft sketch below, not to scale mind you, of our first floor building structure with bathrooms.
Here is the rough draft sketch of the completed project as pictured below.
So get ready for more updates and more stories. God is pouring out His Spirit at Bell Street Church of God. If you’ve been thinking about getting plugged in, I can’t think of a better time than now. If you don’t have a home church, we’d love to become your home. You’ll find a congregation of people who love God and others. God is building something big here! Come and see what God is doing . . .