Breaking holy ground Grace Baptist begins expansion project

Breaking holy ground Grace Baptist begins expansion project On Sunday morning, May 4, Grace Baptist Church, Vermillion, held a groundbreaking ceremony marking the beginning of a major development project. The church, located at 1102 East Main Street, has approved a three-phase master building plan that will include a new sanctuary, a south addition and new entrance, and new classrooms on the east end of the existing building.

The ceremony took place between the regular Bible study and morning worship service. Participating in the groundbreaking ceremony were representatives of Brown Construction Company and FEH Architects and Associates, both of Sioux City, IA, Aaron Lincoln, chair of the building committee, Cory Gonyo, associate pastor, and Wayne James, senior pastor.

Other members of the church's building committee are Lynette Axtell, Kari Jo James, Mary Millage, Terry Robertson and Tom Stogsdill.

The first phase of the building project will be a new sanctuary to be constructed to the north of the existing building and will seat 288 worshippers as well as a choir. The sanctuary will feature a cathedral ceiling with windows providing natural light.

"Our church has been blessed with a growing and faithful congregation. There is a spirit of excitement and anticipation about the great future in store for Grace Baptist Church," Rev. James said. "These new buildings will help to strengthen our ministries of worship, discipleship, and missions. Our desire is to minister to the Vermillion community and extend the church's ministry around the world."

Phase one will include remodeling the existing worship space. A major portion of the north wall of the original building will be removed to accommodate the entrance to the new sanctuary. The current worship space will become a narthex or lobby, and be used for fellowship meetings.

A second phase will be a south addition that will provide four new spaces for classrooms, a church office, and a new entrance facing Main Street. The new entrance will feature a tall foyer with glass construction, symbolizing the church's openness, inviting people of all ages and backgrounds to become a part of a ministering fellowship.

A third building phase will provide two additional classrooms on the east end of the building.

The first phase of construction will be under the direction of Brown Construction Company. Brown Construction will perform all of the site preparation, the foundation and floor of the sanctuary. In addition, the company will erect the steel superstructure.

The preliminary construction will be completed by mid-June. Volunteers from the church and teams from churches around the country will provide most of the remaining construction. The first team of framers will arrive the week of June 23. The community is invited to come and see the building and participate in Bible study at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:30 each Sunday.

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