Facelift For The Future

Published 7:00 pm Sunday, January 29, 2012

First Baptist Church of Brookhaven isgetting a facelift, with much more to come.

    Paul Jackson and Son Construction is working on a project toreplace the old columns on the front of the church because theywere rotten and leaking from the gutters. Workers finished theirthird week of work on Friday and the columns should be completedsoon.

    The Rev. Greg Warnock said replacing the columns was simply amaintenance problem the church needed to correct.

    Construction supervisor Albert Rushing said the project is comingalong, despite the recent rains.

    “We’ll have the third column up today and touch it up to make itlook better, then add some woodwork at the top,” Rushing saidFriday.

    According to Rushing, the columns are made from fiberglass and gotogether in two pieces. Three columns have been erected so far andone more is waiting for installation.

    The building’s four columns stretch from the ground up to supportthe overhang.

    Church administrator Joe Davis said the church could have electedto repair the columns, but decided replacing them was their bestoption.

    “We decided that replacing the columns was the best long-termsolution for the church,” said Davis.

    The columns are part of the church’s new sanctuary built in 1974.First Baptist was originally constructed in 1914 and is among theoldest buildings in the city.

    First Baptist is pursuing additional work and has a master plan tosee it carried out. Davis said work under the master plan willcommence once the funds are gathered.

    “We’re working on some other renovations to the church to modernizeit,” said Davis.

    Warnock is excited about the church’s future.

    “We’re grateful for the opportunity to continue to improve thechurch’s facilities and the opportunity to minister for years tocome,” said Warnock. “Phase one of the renovations is more of aninvestment in our facility and our ability to minister in thefuture. We plan to update our elementary-age wing for thechildren.”

    Phase one also includes modernizing sanctuary video projection andbroadcast updates as well as renovation of the second floor into amodern children’s education wing.

    “We’re really excited about what that will hold,” Warnock said. “Itwill hold advanced media for entire church and then each classroomwill have updated access for media and the Internet.”

    Warnock said another project is constructing a new building thatwill connect First Baptist’s existing buildings.

    Phase one of renovations will cost $1.5 million.