What is Next90? Its the legacy WE can leave to future generations of our church. It how WE can build upon the legacy of the generations that have come before us. As we mark our church’s 90th year of ministry to the greater Fort Worth community, it’s OUR best vision and highest hopes for our church in the NEXT 90 years — and for facilitating ministries that will connect our faith community as never before, from the inside out.
As a church member we want to be sure you stay fully updated on where we are in the building project that will transform our facilities and position our church for our NEXT 90 years of ministry. Here’s the latest!
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:
And much, much more
Now is our moment. This is our time to step out in faith for the Next90.
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. Evidence of our growth, ministry successes, and vitality as a faith community are reflected in our 2018 celebrations, including:
(listed in order of priority as established at 2018 Focus First Leadership Summit)
246 new members joining our church
48 young people being confirmed on Confirmation Sunday
66 being baptized: 48 babies and children, 15 confirmands and 3 adults
20,506 attending Sunday School/Small Groups who met in the name of Christ
65,449 attending across our eight Sunday morning worship services, Christmas Eve, and Easter services
400 attending in our United Methodist Women monthly general meetings (this number does not include individual Circle meetings, special events, and activities!)
715 children ranging in age from 3 to 11 years deepening their relationship with Christ through Summer JAM and Vacation Bible School
115 youth spending 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 spending time focusing on our First Church future by participating in Focus First surveys, small groups, and a leadership summit
IMMEASURABLE volunteer hours where First Church serve as the hands and feet of Christ in a multitude of ways, including Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, disaster response, church committees, VBS and Summer JAM, hospitality, adult and youth mission projects, and more!
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:
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.
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.
Pursuing a unique vision for ministry with youth, the church constructed Epworth Hall (now the Justin Building).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 construction 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes! In revisiting the original plan and assessing our most immediate needs — more space in Wesley Hall and the Children’s wing; updrading or replacing dated and obsolete equipment including elevators, AV equipment, HVAC, and more; utility infrastructure that must be completed in order to complete the project — we now have in place a two-year, $15 million Phase I, and a 3-year Phase II which will follow the . completion of Phase I and complete the project.
As you may know, we had originally planned to kick off the public four-week phase of the Next90 Building Expansion campaign the Sunday after Easter. However, because of the recent General Conference decision and the upcoming Judicial Council decision, we have decided to extend our Next90 campaign into the fall.
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.
Congregation votes to move forward with capital campaign and more detailed planning.
Facilities do exactly what the word means: they facilitate. How will we facilitate the continued growth of our ministries going forward? Building Committee Chair Barry Hudson and Senior Pastor Dr. Tim Bruster provide an update on the details of this visionary process now underway at FUMCFW in this video.
Business Administrator Larry Ammerman presents the finding of the Building Financial Committee regarding funding for our Next90 Building Expansion Project.
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