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FUMC breaks ground for children’s wing

First United Methodist Church on Sunday broke ground on a 6,500 square foot addition that will provide classrooms and a play area for children while improving security and incorporating technology into the learning environment.

The project, which is the second phase of major construction project undertaken by the church, is expected to be completed in 2019.

A rendering of the addition at FUMC.

Speaking from the pulpit on behalf of the board of trustees and finance committees, Billy Bergfield said the project also includes a main entrance and new lobby that will provide direct access to both of the church’s elevators.

Once the construction is completed, the existing children’s wing will be demolished, and additional parking will be added.

At the groundbreaking following Sunday morning’s service, Mayor Earl Johnson was invited to share some thoughts.

Johnson quoted Winston Churchill, who said, “First we shape our buildings. Thereafter, our buildings shape us.”

The mayor talked about the importance of the Methodist buildings through the years, not just to church members, but to the community, as the setting for Boy Scout meetings, elementary school outings, and many other events.

Sarah Sightler, who represented the church’s architectural committee, said as a lifelong member of the church, she is excited to watch the project unfold, ultimately offering opportunities for her own children.

the first phase of construction included renovating the fellowship hall and kitchen, as well as addressing water damage in several places, including the church’s iconic bell tower.