All about people
Gateway Church, one of the fastest growing churches in America, celebrated the opening of its newest campus in Southlake, TX in late 2010. From a humble beginning 10 years earlier, the church has exploded to a weekly attendance approaching 20,000, including the main campus in Southlake and three other campuses in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
The Southlake campus was developed on a 180-acre site, with a Phase One of 212,000 square feet, including a 4,000-seat sanctuary, children’s ministry spaces, community commons and some 2,000 parking spaces. Centered around several natural ponds on the site, Phase One is part of a master plan concept which will allow the church to eventually expand up to 1.2 million square feet.
Gateway’s ministry vision of “we are all about people” was not only expressed in the design of the campus, but in the process of design and construction. The church encouraged and modeled a spirit of collaboration within the entire building team. Monthly the church hosted breakfasts for the architectural and construction teams to allow for relationship building. Church members were also provided a place on the construction site where they could come, see and pray over the project on a 24/7 basis.
That collaborative attitude become a key part of the project delivery process. Examples of this included the architects (Beck Group) making their BIM model freely accessible to the contractor (Balfour Beatty) for coordination and construction of the complex building. A digital “paperless” process was also implemented during construction, which created quicker delivery, less waste and reduced cost.
Gateway Church’s encouragement of an atmosphere of collaboration, rather than confrontation, between all the design and construction team members, created a hugely successful project for everyone involved, and provided a great example of Christians living out their faith.
[Source:Tom Greenwood, AIA, Beck Group, Dallas, TX]
Family carries on
The land for the new building of nondenominational Word of Life was purchased more than 10 years ago during the tenure of founding pastor Ronnie Sims. With his passing, his son Joel was just a senior in high school. The church was shaken and the family was devastated by the loss. For a season Joel’s mother led the church, but eventually Joel became senior pastor.
Under Pastor Joel’s leadership the church has had enormous growth.
The grand opening for the new building was held 10 years to the day after his father’s passing. More than 2,400 attended the first Sunday service, more than 450 of them were first-time visitors! Word of Life has experienced growth and an increased attendance of 40 percent within the first two months at the new facility. They now hold three Sunday morning services and one on Wednesday evening.
With numerous entrances to the 876-seat sanctuary, guests are sure to find their favorite seat. State-of-the-art sound and lighting greets each guest, with worship songs providing a great atmosphere. From the special lighting to the various props on stage and the wide screen that covers the width of the sanctuary, one gets a sense of being in concert venue.
Nestled by huge trees on three sides and visible to the main highway only, this building, with its earth tone colors and beautiful landscaping, invites the passer-by to come take a closer look.
[Source:Connie Fahler, ChurchesByDaniels.com]
More Good Stewards
• First Baptist Church, Lyons, GA (new children’s wing)