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Solomon Awards 2019 – First Baptist Church Forney (Church Building Design – Traditional and Contemporary)

First Baptist Church Forney has seen tremendous growth through the past 150 years in their community and ministries. With continued growth projected into the next decade, the church was in need of a new multipurpose facility to serve their ministry desires for further community outreach through a larger worship, recreation, and hospitality space.

Through the use of innovative planning and creative design, HH Architects proposed a new multipurpose Worship and Recreation facility for FBC Forney’s Higher Ground Ministry. This new dynamic addition will be used for Sunday services, weekday recreational ministries, and adult and children’s sport ministries.

During the week, the facility operates as a state-of-the-art community recreation and health facility and provides a huge need for the surrounding area for low-cost exercise and work-out facilities. Spaces include new restrooms and showers, an open modern cardio workout area, free-weight room, aerobics and dance studios, and craft and meeting spaces. FBC Forney also operates one of the largest “Upwards” ministries in the area, and the new facility provides multiple practice and game courts to be in use simultaneously. In addition, four new outdoor soccer fields were provided. A community café and snack bar within the lobby serves both weekday and weekend activities.

On Sunday, this dynamic space quickly converts from two full-size basketball courts to a 2,200-seat modern worship space. Two 20-foot-high acoustical walls are retracted to open up the multipurpose space, and powered seating risers are extended out to complete the conversion for Worship within in minutes. Three large, movable LED screens provide great sightlines from all seats, and multi-functional LED house helps transforms the space from recreation to worship, softening the space and welcoming the members.

Hospitality and connection spaces were also an important desire and need for FBC Forney. The new addition includes a large commons space that allows the church’s members to fellowship and build relationships in new ways. Within these new spaces, HH Architects desired the new facility to “connect the past” with “the future”, and designed an undulating, curved curtainwall system which created a seamless transition from old to new. This new glass and metal façade provided a new image and consequently an enhanced identity for FBC Forney, allowing the community to see activity, and the sense of hope and life within.

The new addition broke ground in August 2017 and was recently completed in April 2019. The first worship service in the new building was held on April 7 and the new facility was formally dedicated on May 5. This new addition will help FBC Forney to continue to reach their ever-growing community and many others beyond their immediate area with the Good News!

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