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Next90

VISION

Next90 is about building the foundation for our next 90 years of ministry, leadership, and service in Fort Worth.

We are the center of the city, the center of a growing community in a time of significant cultural change, and we are here to help people put Christ at the center of their lives.

Because people rely on the church to create meaningful connections in their lives, First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth is becoming stronger, providing for the Greater Fort Worth community a leading witness for the gospel in our city.

As we see evidence of this growth, success, and new life as we worship in new ways, connect people in new ways, and envision ministry in new ways, we need facilities to open those doors for the future.

While the center of our growth is in children’s and young family ministries, as well as our newest worship service, The Gathering, other ministries are also experiencing growth and remain strong and viable:

Traditional Worship
DiscipleChurch
eleven:eleven
Studies
Outreach
Congregational Care
Fellowship opportunities
And much, much more

Now is our moment. This is our time to step out in faith for the Next90.

TRENDS

In February 2018, our yearlong Focus First strategic planning process culminated with a leadership summit attended by 130 church leaders. The top vote-getting priority was the expansion of our facilities to meet current and future ministry needs.

NEW STRATEGIC PRIORITIES

(listed in order of priority as established at 2018 Focus First Leadership Summit)

1. Building Expansion
2. Diversity
3. Small Groups
4. Youth Ministry

2018 Year-to-Date

207 new members joined our church

48 young people were confirmed on Confirmation Sunday

66 baptisms: 48 babies and children, 15 confirmands and 3 adults have been baptized

20,506 Sunday School/Small Group attendees met in the name of Christ

48,068 people participated in one of the eight Sunday morning worship services

400 members of our United Methodist Women came together over at least 5 general meetings (not counting individual Circle meetings and activities!)

715 children ranging in age from 3 to 11 years, deepened their relationship with Christ through Summer JAM and Vacation Bible School

115 youth spent part of their summer in mission to others by traveling to a total of 7 states as well as here in Fort Worth

840 church members spent time focusing on First Church by participating in Focus First surveys, small groups, and a leadership summit

IMMEASURABLE volunteer hours where First Church served the Hands and Feet of Christ in a multitude of ways: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, disaster response, church committees, VBS and Summer JAM, hospitality, adult and youth mission projects

HISTORY OF LOOKING FORWARD

Because of our long tradition of church leaders making leaps of faith to ensure the church has the best facilities resources possible, First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth is perfectly-positioned to meet its ministry goals, now and for the future. Such visionary highlights include:

1908

Only 11 years after building a new brick church at Fourth and Jones Street, the members chose to purchase a lot at the corner of Seventh and Taylor Street and to build a new church building to allow for future growth.

1929

After only 20 years in its existing facility, the church purchased property at the corner of Fifth and Florence Street for future growth and expansion. Work on the Sanctuary broke ground on October 29, 1929 — the day the stock market crashed, beginning the Great Depression. Despite financial uncertainty, the congregation remained faithful and committed to the vision of the church, and work on the existing church Sanctuary was completed in 1930.

1955

Pursuing a unique vision for ministry with youth, the church constructed Epworth Hall (now the Justin Building).

1969

Committed to expanding ministry to children and their families, the church constructed the Armstrong Children’s Wing. This ministry was expanded further in 1995 and again in 2016.

1990

Seeking to serve families and communities in need, the church established the First Street Methodist Mission as a full-time mission ministry to the homeless and working poor.

We are now at the gateway to another defining moment: We are poised to set our church on a course for generations of transformational ministry in the 21st century.

WHAT WILL THIS PROJECT INCLUDE?

Worship

Discipleship Hall (Multi-Purpose Worship & Dining Space)

  • Three-story vaulted space, modified cross floor plan, 6,357 sq. ft. (over twice the size of Wesley Hall)
  • Architecturally complimentary space with exposed wood timber trusses and stained glass windows
  • Worship seating for over 500, plus 900 sq. ft. platform
  • Banquet seating for 320 (40 round tables, 5’ diameter with 8 chairs each), 420 seats with platform
  • Multimedia equipped with four LED screens and state-of-the-art sound system
  • Moveable chairs for flexible format, including worship in the round
  • Enlarged kitchen with improved separate delivery corridor

Prayer Chapel

  • Small private worship space on second floor over new east entry overlooking the rotunda

Fellowship

Fellowship Rotunda (Central Gathering Space)

  • 64’ diameter, three-story, central gathering space (3,217 sq. ft.), wider & almost as large as Wesley Hall
  • 42’ prayer labyrinth in terrazzo flooring, with curving stairs & perimeter walkway overlooks from upper floors
  • Centered between worship spaces, children’s ministry, and administration offices to physically connect all parts of the church
  • Open space for our entire church community to meet, greet, and spend time with one another
  • New Welcome Center with café, coffee bar & seating area

Wesley Hall (Remodeled & stage removed)

  • Reoriented to increase seating capacity and allow direct access via Fellowship Rotunda

Children & Families

Children’s Wing Addition

  • Two-story Children’s wing addition (14,800 sq. ft.) with 13 classrooms (6 additional) and increased activity space
  • Indoor two-story playground visible from Fellowship Rotunda, but with access from secure area
  • Relocated and expanded outdoor playground

Building Infrastructure Improvements

  • New elevators, improved energy efficient mechanical systems, new first floor restrooms
  • ADA compliant east entry and covered porte-cochere drop-off
  • Improved basement access for increased and usable storage spaces

Summary

  • 53,324 sq. ft. new building addition, architecturally compatible with existing church exterior
  • 19,952 sq. ft. renovated area (including all of Wesley Hall, the Music Suite, and the new Media Suite)
  • 137,012 sq. ft. resulting main building area — all connected to a beautiful, spacious hub

IMAGINE

People from our six different Sunday morning worship opportunities having time and space to visit, get to know each other, and connect over common interests in a central meeting space.

Welcoming neighbors and friends to worship in a state-of-the-art modern worship space that continues the beauty and heritage of our historic campus.

First-time guests quickly and easily finding their way to multiple worship spaces, children’s ministry areas, special event venues, and a visitor center that both welcomes and informs our growing community of visitors and new members.

A woman from the downtown business community walking the labyrinth during Holy Week, where a weekday ministry to our burgeoning downtown community offers new possibilities for actively engaging those who have not yet found a church home.

Thousands of members and visitors in awe of the three-story rotunda decorated with lights and greenery during the Christmas Eve celebrations.

Hundreds of children singing and dancing together during Vacation Bible School programs in the new multi-purpose space.

Friends spending an hour catching up over a cup of coffee in the new café.

A family staying dry while they use the porte-cochere and covered walkway during a Sunday morning rain shower.

FINANCIAL PLAN

First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth has no indebtedness and a strong annual budget (membership giving) of around four million dollars.

The First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation provides more than two million dollars annually, and this income is managed to fund the ongoing capital needs and maintenance operations for our large campus. Because of this Foundation funding (and other generous individual gifts), the church has not needed a major capital campaign for more than 20 years.

Project Cost

The large-scale, transformative nature of this capital project does not lend itself to phasing or to significant changes in scope. Our architects currently estimate the total cost of this proposed project to be approximately 36 million dollars. Because of the visionary decisions of our church, we already own the land needed for this expansion; therefore, there is no expensive land purchase required for this project. All project funding will be applied to improvements to our physical campus.

Funding Plan

The church prefers to fully fund this project with a three-year capital campaign. FUMCFW has historically been fiscally conservative and debt careful. Our church has also historically been financially faithful and capable of great things in answer to God’s calling. We believe the church can rise to this calling for our Next90.

What if the Church cannot raise the full 36 million?

Current Foundation support, dedicated to capital needs and maintenance, could be managed to service a conservative amount of debt — to be paid off in ten years or less — without affecting the church ministry budget. While the church prefers to borrow as little as possible, there is some room for a conservative amount of debt service that could be considered in a reasonable financial plan.

Q&A

What is capital giving?

First, capital giving is over-and-above annual support of the church’s ministry and mission. In effect, capital pledging is a new giving opportunity and decision for donors. Second, capital giving is designated to a specific capital improvement project. Finally, capital gifts/pledges (for donor planning flexibility and purposes) are often fulfilled over a longer time-frame — over three years in this project case.

What is a typical capital campaign gift?

There is no typical gift. Every donor’s situation is different. Capital campaign donations are determined by how a donor wishes to invest in the long-term goals of the church.

How is a transformational project of this size funded?

A three-year capital campaign, designating pledges and gifts from church members and supporters to this project, would fund most — if not all — of this initiative. Depending upon the results of a professional assessment and a congregational vote, such a capital campaign could occur in the spring of 2019.

What is the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation’s giving role in this project?

Because our annual Foundation support is dedicated to capital improvements and maintenance, The Foundation already plays an important role in the church’s financial management plans. Of course, the Foundation will be invited to make an over-and-above, asset gift to support this project; however, like any donor, the Foundation board makes its own independent decisions about giving.

If the church were to successfully move forward with this initiative, when might building begin . . . and be completed?

In the quickest timeline, the capital campaign for financial support could provide a financial plan by May of 2019. Final architectural preparations could be finished by the end of summer 2019 and building could begin in the fall, with an estimated 24-month completion time.

How would the church handle additional operation and maintenance costs with more building space?

Current annual Foundation support provides the ability for the church to absorb reasonable building operations increases without impacting the church’s ministry budget. New efficiencies gained from new equipment and spaces that will replace old equipment and spaces will also help control any increased operations costs.

Can this project be scaled down or phased?

Not well nor effectively. To scale or phase construction would dramatically increase the cost and disruptions of the project.

Ask a Question

Facilities do exactly what the word means: they facilitate. How will we facilitate the continued growth of our ministries going forward? Building Study Committee Chair Barry Hudson and Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Bruster provide an update on the details of this visionary process now underway at First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth in this video.

In this video, you will embark on a virtual reality tour of our new master plan for building expansion. This simulated, animated reality puts you in the new expansion as it is now designed by HH Architects.

Interior View Multi-Purpose Worship Space

Interior View Rotunda

First Floor

Second Floor

Third Floor

Ask a Question

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