What’s Next for Our Building Project?

OK—we’ve broken ground. Now members and visitors are already asking what’s next, and when.  Most of what’s going on right now is happening behind the scenes, but the first visible sign of progress was the disappearance of the trees between the church and Doug Baker Boulevard.  We have cleared those trees so that Alabama Power can move power lines to service the new building.

What’s not-so-visible is the hard work of a number of committees working to finalize the detailed plans for the building.  We have teams working on everything from completing detailed interior construction plans to choosing pews and finishes.  Part of this process involves making hard choices in prioritizing features and spaces.

As we set those priorities, we are committed to working within the budget determined by pledges and gifts to the Reach campaign.  Frankly, we are finding that some costs are exceeding initial budget expectations, and while we will work to maximize all available funds, we will also keep our fiscal house in order and will not exceed the promised debt level.  We can do more if we have greater resources available, so we are encouraging you to make a pledge or a gift if you haven’t done so already.  The Reach campaign remains open and we’ve had several significant gifts since we broke ground. You can still become a part of this next chapter in Asbury’s growth—it’s not too late to become part of this exciting story.

You might also consider making a Memorial Gift to a specific part of the building campaign.  Our Memorials Committee has proposed a list of specific items that people have mentioned as possibilities, and indicated an interest in funding, in whole or in part.  These opportunities range from an organ, to the large stained glass window to individual pews to Bibles and hymnals.  The Committee has made a list of items available at the Information Desk near the Sanctuary and at the Information Table outside the Bridge service on the first floor.  However, if you feel called to single out something that’s not on the list, but stirs your heart, Committee members will be pleased to discuss it with you.

As soon as Vacation Bible School is over, things will really get moving.  That’s when the creation of new athletic fields begin at the edge of our parking lot where it meets the woods along the entrance road off Highway 119.  You’ll also see the basic construction to prepare the main parking addition to serve as the location for construction trailers and equipment during construction.  We expect to see the first steel being erected later this fall.

There are new site plans on the video screens around Asbury, and they are also being shown prior to our worship service—they will help you visualize the new building and capture the sense of excitement about what our future holds for the Kingdom of God at Asbury.

The Amazing Reach of Asbury

The word Reach has come to signify Asbury’s desire to grow into a wonderful, Christ-centered future, but it can also describe how the word is getting out about the great things happening at Asbury.  Listen today for Pastor Kip’s story of how Asbury’s plans reached all the way to Carnegie Hall in New York.  You are part of an amazing story unfolding here at Asbury and the work you are a part of is recognized throughout the North American Methodist community.



Let’s Move Some Dirt!

Get your shovels and spades ready! We will be breaking ground for our new facility on Sunday, May 22nd at 9:45 AM.
We want everyone-members and visitors, young and no-so-young-to bring a shovel or spade and be a part of the mass groundbreaking that will mark the start of the next exciting chapter in Asbury’s wonderful history! We’re scheduling the churchwide groundbreaking for late May so everyone can have the opportunity to participate before we all scatter for vacation and summer activities.
Around the time of the groundbreaking you will see other exciting things happening around the church campus:
  •  Tree removal along Doug Baker Boulevard to re-route electrical service
  •  Site work to prepare the main parking addition which will serve as the site for construction trailers and equipment during construction
  •  Relocation of the athletic fields – which will be moving to the vacant land on the north side of the Hwy 119 entrance into our parking lot
To get a better idea of what’s ahead, check out the new site plan on the wall outside the Sanctuary.
Since the last OutReach Update our preliminary building and site plans have been approved by the District Board of Church Location and Building. On the financial side, we have been given a firm financing commitment by Servis1st Bank that will allow us to benefit from the current low-interest rate environment.
As we enter this exciting new phase of church growth and new ministry opportunities for Asbury, please be mindful of the need to maintain your faithful giving in fulfillment of your pledge to the Reach Campaign. And it’s never too late to make a pledge if you have not already done so. Pledge forms are available at the Information Desk and in the Gathering Area.
Do you have questions about the Reach Campaign or the new facility? Email any member of the Building Committee by clicking the link on the left.

Asbury Receives District Approval to Proceed

We have the privilege of spreading the word that the South Central District Committee on Grounds & Buildings, the committee that represents the North Alabama Conference on all capital projects, has approved our new building project unanimously! The committee is made up of experts in the construction industry and in finance.  Their review and endorsement signifies that the Asbury Building Team has done an excellent job thus far. A special thanks goes out to Bob Suellentrop and Alan Weeks for guiding us in achieving this major milestone.

Another Step Forward in Our New Building Plans

Want to know what our new building is expected to look like when it’s completed in late 2017? Take a look at the video screens around our campus! This week the Design Committee approved plans for the new sanctuary and we’ve put the current architect’s drawings up for you to see.

Those plans are for the outside of the building and the floor plan of the new sanctuary. The ground floor plans will be finalized later, after we complete an exhaustive review of ministry requirements. Our general contractor, Johnson Kreis Construction, and our architects, CTSM, are now in the process of securing initial pricing indications. Once we have those in hand we will be able to finalize the plans based on our budget and the building site.

Our current plans, subject to a final revision call for a sanctuary that will ultimately seat approximately 1,075 worshipers, which is an increase of approximately 80% over our current sanctuary seating. Our choir and orchestra space is expected to double, bringing total capacity to approximately 1,200 people.

We will be taking our financial and construction plans to the District Board of Church Location and Building tomorrow (March 28th). Then we will schedule the required church-wide Charge Conference so that we can share near-final plans and financial details with the congregation.

The most common questions asked after our last update were, “When will we start and what are the first steps?” If all goes as planned, we expect to hold a churchwide groundbreaking ceremony before school is out. As soon as vacation Bible school ends in early summer, you’ll see site work underway as we build new parking areas next to Doug Balter Drive. That is where construction trailers will sit during construction. At the same time we will build new athletic fields near where the entrance road from 119 comes into our existing parking lot. We need those fields ready for fall because the new building will be taking up the old athletic field space. And if all goes according to plan, the building itself will be started in early-to-mid fall. Pray for good weather!

Please continue to offer thoughts and comments to members of the Building Committee and the sub-Committees (listed on the back). With plans coming into greater focus, they will become more active in the coming months. We were asked about overlapping names on the Committees after our last update and we want to explain that most Building Committee members are serving in a variety of roles to ensure continuity. Individuals with special expertise are also working on Committees where their advice is playing a major role in ensuring that we are building something special to move Asbury forward in fulfilling God’s plan for our church and out congregation.

If you have further questions, please use the Questions or Comments? link on the left side of the site.

Let’s Get Ready to Build!

After an exhaustive review of potential construction firms, the Building Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Johnson Kreis Construction as the general contractor to build our new facility. Johnson Kreis was the unanimous choice of our Building Committee and the Construction Sub-Committee last Sunday. Johnson Kreis will begin working immediately with our architects, CTSM, to develop cost estimates, detailed plans and a firm timeline for
construction of the facility.

Johnson Kreis has built more than 250 churches, and they have a long history of constructing churches in Alabama. Some of their notable local church projects include St. Marks Catholic, Church of the Highlands at Greystone, Our Lady of the Valley, North Shelby Baptist, and various projects at The Church at Brook Hills. You can see more examples of their work on their
website: www.johnsonkreis.com/churches. Their website characterizes Johnson Kreis as a Christian company with a passion for stewardship and giving back to the community, striving to bring honor to the Lord in every aspect of every project.

Our next step will be taking our financial and construction plans to the District Board of Church Location and Building, tentatively scheduled for late March. All of this points us toward a church-wide Charge Conference that will be scheduled once we have the District Board’s approval, as well as final plans and financial details to share with you.


Asbury is taking the first steps to convert the dream of a new facility into reality. The leaders and committees who are at the forefront of the project will be using OutReach newsletters, e-mails and website postings to ensure that everyone in the Asbury family is up-to-date on the project.

The planning process is just beginning, but here is where we stand right now. Our initial goals were based on a projected cost of approximately $14 million for a proposed facility that included a larger sanctuary with a balcony and additional space for classrooms and ministries, the costs of additional parking required and a new athletic field complex in the wetlands area along the east side of the access road from Highway 119. That initial estimate was developed with the idea that projected costs would be refined as our design plans were developed.

Since that estimate was developed, assumptions in the initial building concept have been challenged and modified. For example, the cost associated with building a balcony outweighs its advantages, so it was removed from consideration to reduce the overall building cost. Expanding athletic fields into the environmentally-protected wetlands turned out to be costly as well, so a new plan was developed that expands our athletic complex while minimizing wetland incursion to reduce costs. We will also use fill dirt from our own hillside when creating added parking, which will save money and allow us to create a roadway that encircles the entire campus. Additionally, Asbury now has the ability to purchase materials for the project at a significant savings as a tax-free entity.

These significant cost savings, along with the $5.2 million in pledges and donations received so far, allowed us the opportunity to evaluate whether or not to move ahead. After much prayer and deliberation, Asbury’s lay leadership decided to move ahead with construction to fulfill the original dream that was laid out in Asbury’s master plan when we moved to our current site in 1994.

The Reach campaign committee has now moved into the background and the formal building committee, which was appointed on September 15, 2015 at a called Charge Conference, has been active in laying the groundwork that will enable us to begin the enormous tasks associated with this project. This committee has been active in laying the groundwork that will enable us to begin the enormous tasks associated with this project. CTSM Architects, the firm that designed our master plan and existing buildings has been selected to oversee the project design. Right now, we are in the earliest stages of construction planning and while we have a general outline of where the building will be located, it will be several months before we have specific details and blueprints to share with you.

During those months, sub-committees will be working with CTSM to refine plans, and will welcome your input. Please find a list of the sub-committees and their members here. As plans transition from the conceptual stage, you will receive regular updates on the project’s progress.

Coming up, there will be a Charge Conference at the Church Council meeting in February to review what has been developed thus far. Final approval to build and borrow will come during a later church-wide Charge Conference that will be called once we have final plans along with detailed costs.

If you have questions, please reach out to one of the committee leaders listed here, or ask your question through the link on Asbury’s home page, and check this OUTReach section of Asbury’s website for interim updates as we reach important milestones in this new, exciting chapter in Asbury’s history.