BENEFITING: VINEYARD COMMUNITY CHURCH
In 2014, the Vineyard Community Church decided to relocate to a bigger building because we had outgrown the current facility. The church’s current location is situated in a business plaza with barely enough space around the building for a parking lot. Additionally, we scarcely have enough room for our children and youth. Much prayer, thought, and planning was put into moving. Several locations were scouted out, and meetings were set up amongst various contractors, land owners, and county authorities in order to discover the best site for our new church. These factors were weighed carefully and taken very seriously. Relocating a church, or any organization for that matter, takes a lot of time and effort. Our members prayed for months that a perfect opportunity would present itself.
The perfect opportunity came in the form of an old historic elementary school. The elementary school was around since the 1930’s (We have old documents!) and the current building our church is renovating is from the 1950’s. The new ‘old school’ as we call it is in a prime location as the city has expanded a two-lane road into a four-lane connector. In addition, the building is on four acres of land! There is plenty of space to do picnics, camping, gardening, and many other activities.
After our church purchased the land, we worked with contractors to design the renovation project. The historic school building had been abandoned for about a decade before we bought it in late 2014, and there was a lot of work that had to be done as a result. Most of 2015 consisted of finalizing a renovation plan and getting it approved by the county. Once the county approved the plan we started to raise funds for those plans.
From the beginning of the process, we were focused on preserving as much of the building’s history as possible while keeping our monthly mortgage low; we believed that both of these principles would help us to serve God and our community as good stewards of all that we had. Our church used loans for the renovation but a lot of our funds came from donations. We raised over $70,000 from church members and from people throughout our city that appreciated the fact that we were revitalizing an historic building. Our contractors even threw in supplies and labor above and beyond what we were paying for. Because of all this generosity, VCC was able to completely fund all the renovations from the approved plan!
This is where we need your HELP. This past month we had a Certificate of Occupancy inspection and the county authorities stated that we needed to make a couple of big changes before giving the church a CO. This was a shock to us because we had completed all the work in the approved plan. However, it seems that changes in county staff as well as code interpretation and enforcement led to the new inspectors stating that our plans were not up to code. Now, we have to install a fire alarm system and sheetrock a quarter of our main sanctuary ceiling; neither which was not in the original plan or budget. This has been unexpected and discouraging challenge because we were a couple of weeks away from moving into the newly renovated building. Still, we understand the county’s desire for safety. We believe we will get through this by God’s help and yours.
Please help our church, Vineyard Community Church, with your generosity and prayers.
Thank you and God Bless!