Highway widening may cut off legendary church from drive-by worshippers

For nearly 75 years, drivers between the Somerset and Bedford exits on the Pennsylvania Turnpike could park their cars on the berm and walk up the steps to St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. But the days when the “Church of the Turnpike,” as it’s known, served as a beacon to road-weary travelers, could be numbered. East of New Baltimore (population 180), heavy equipment signals the start of a highway widening project that will permanently remove the legendary steps.

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Designing Worship Areas: Laying the foundation

First Baptist Church Milan — Milan, TN
(Photo provided by MNB Architects)

Beginning a seven-part series on worship space design can be a bit intimidating. There are so many avenues to consider, so many topics to discuss, and so many variables which can create completely different outcomes.The most important concept to communicate throughout this series is this: Every church is different. Each church has a DNA which must be honored. This DNA is made up of several factors, or lenses.

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The stewardship of space

Common sense and economics dictate that if you can make better use of your church’s existing multipurpose space, you can avoid costly building programs. The result is more money to fund your growing ministries.

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Good Steward Award Winner: Oklahoma Youth Camp (Sparks, OK)

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A “Good Steward” Award recipient in the area of children’s / youth spaces, this Assemblies of God facility in Sparks, OK, has 16 modern cabins — each 6,000 square feet — with four large bunk rooms surrounding a central commons area.

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Engaging Spaces: Engaging from the get-go

ENGAGING SPACES

For a church’s design to be effective, it must be engaging — beginning the moment someone walks through the door.

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Award-winning multi-site staff management

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Grace Fellowship Church has launched three multi-site campuses in the past five years. This process has involved two capital campaigns, vision-casting, site identification, site development and leadership training. Here, Pastor of Business Administration Bill Minchin talks about these developments.

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WEB-EXCLUSIVE: Church construction — where do I begin?

CHURCH CONSTRUCTION

To approve a loan, the bank wants to know the project’s cost. But, to get the cost from a builder, you need a design. And to get a design, you need an architect. And to pay an architect, you need money from the bank!
So, who do you call first? And does it matter which builder, architect or bank you call?

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Engaging families — by design

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Among forward-thinking church leaders, accommodating families is a top-of-mind priority.

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Mission: a youth community

The open-concept gaming / café / lounge area at Rhema Bible Church (RBC) in Broken Arrow, OK

The new facility at Rhema Bible Church will foster authentic connections through thoughtful, relevant design.

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Investing in the next generation — by design

“The Garage” at First Baptist Church in Powder Springs, GA (Photo courtesy of CDH Partners)

By Paulla Shetterly Some among the next generation of believers have become disillusioned with the traditional worship environment. Because of this, we, as designers, have had to rethink how we address the needs of today’s culture without repositioning the timeless truths of the church. It’s a tactical process often involving theming worship and student environments. […]

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