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Solomon Awards 2019 – New Work Fellowship (Building Contractor)

New Work Fellowship is a warm, Baptist congregation in rural Hopkinsville, Kentucky. The church began meeting in rented facilities that required portable equipment to be set up and taken down every weekend for several years, until constructing its first permanent facility in 2007. A few years ago, the church began to experience accelerated growth in attendance and added worship services to accommodate the crowds.

Soon the church had four Sunday morning worship experiences, with discipleship classes for each age of the family during each worship time. Church leadership engaged Goff Companies to assist with formulating a strategic plan to expand facilities, remain financially healthy and continue to utilize the building during construction.

Ideally the church would construct a larger worship venue with balanced support spaces and parking to provide the required room for growth. However, the amount of new construction under such an expansion was beyond the church’s available resources.

After detailed study, the church decided to move forward with a strategy to expand its existing facility. The Worship Center was expanded to the rear, into the existing Commons area, increasing seating capacity from 385 to just under 700. New audio, video, lighting and acoustic treatments were included to create an exceptional venue for presenting the gospel in a modern and effective manner.

A new and expanded Commons area was constructed to include larger restrooms, soft seating and a café with kitchen and preparatory space for events and the Lord’s Supper. The new Commons allowed the church to update both interior and exterior frontage to an inviting and modern look utilizing glass, stone and wood. The drive-up curb appeal of the building was significantly enhanced.

Children’s education spaces were expanded with new square footage for nursery and preschool and updated décor for other areas. Theming was accomplished at minimal cost with architectural design, custom flooring and strategically placed glass and colors. The most significant change was the ability to secure the area from the remainder of the facility to provide controlled access.

Where the original building utilized a portion of the Children’s area as a primary corridor from parking to the Worship Center, the new design allows for access from parking into the facility to be outside areas occupied by children. Access to the Children’s education area is now controlled at a single location, staffed during worship services by volunteers and paid security. This creates an environment that is safe to kids and gives parents a comfort level in dropping off their children.

Adult education is a vital part of New Work Fellowship’s ministry model. Small Groups are offered on Sunday morning during each worship service. The adult and student (seventh grade and up) areas were updated with new carpet and paint, but were left largely intact from the previous design.

The church continued to meet in the facility during construction and never missed a Sunday worship service with new people added almost weekly. The church experienced double-digit growth during construction!

After moving into the newly expanded facilities, Church leadership decided upon a programming change from four worship services, to three. This has created a bit of a lid. Asking people to attend both a small group and a worship service on Sunday morning requires every attendee to be on-site during the middle service offering.

The expanded building has ample room to accommodate the people in the Worship Center and education spaces for both adults and children.

Parking, however, has become an issue. The additional 150 paved parking spaces added during expansion are already occupied. Additional parking is required to accommodate the move to fewer worship service options. Fortunately, the church has plenty of space for additional parking, some of which has already been added to facilitate continued growth.

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