Our Church property and buildings are the home base for our family. For 147
years the people of God at First Baptist Church, Tupelo, MS (FBCT) have
gathered each week in this building to worship the Lord, teach various age
groups the Word of God, disciple followers of Christ and reach out to those in
our community that are searching for truth in a world filled with hopelessness.
The building is much like your home where your family gathers daily and from
time-to-time for special occasions. In the past, many have sacrificed so that we
may enjoy the building that occupies the corner of 300 North Church Street
today. We honor the investments and the service of these generations of
Some in our congregation remember when various parts of our current facility
were constructed. In the 1950’s, a devastating fire destroyed the Sanctuary
building; the church rose from the ashes to rebuild so ministry could continue
and people could gather for worship. Others remember the 1960’s when the
current children’s building was constructed, which provided additional space for
discipling believers. In the 1970’s, a great outreach ministry was started as the
result of constructing the Christian Life Center. FBCT has continued with a
vision to provide a place of worship and ministry to her members and
community. Each time the need arose to provide additional space, the
congregation sought the Lord and made sacrificial commitments to building
under the Lord’s leadership.
The most recent construction projects took place in the mid 1980’s and 1990’s
with the construction of the Adult Education/Office building and the Fellowship
Hall, Grand Hall, Preschool and Youth building at a combined total cost of $6.3
million. These buildings were constructed under the leadership of Dr. Gayle
Alexander, Pastor from 1983-2000, who challenged the church to build without
debt. The congregation accepted the challenge; and under the Lord’s
Leadership, the church was able to build two buildings without incurring long-
During the last twenty years, FBCT has been able to grow Her ministry
because of those who gave sacrificially to build without debt. These years have
proven to be a time when the church has taken great strides in mission
outreach. This growth in ministry was possible because the church was not
burdened with debt; the tithes and offerings could be used to reach and teach
those who have yet to hear the gospel of Christ.
The church body has always sought to build for those yet to come. In many
ways, this is evident in our current facility with the physical plant we have for
ministry. The time has come to take the next step in preparing for the future
through expansion and much needed renovations to our church home. The
challenge now is for each one in the church family to continue the legacy of
faithful stewardship to prepare for the future. Members must prayerfully seek
the Lord and ask Him to lead us individually and as families as to what He
would have us give over the next three to five years to help provide the
resources needed in the proposed renovations and expansion of the church
First Baptist Church of Tupelo, Mississippi Capital Campaign 2017
Thank you for participating in today’s
service. The desire of our church
leadership is to share with you how the
Lord has been leading these past
months. The presentation you are
holding in your hand should not be
considered as “set in stone.” Rather, it
is a concept of how we could maximize
our space and structure in a strategy
and building layout that best meets
current ministry needs as well as
prepares for the future. We ask that
you not hesitate to ask questions
or provide commentary. Tonight we
will have a Special Called Business
Meeting to provide a venue to facilitate
a church-wide question and answer
We know that the “church” is not a
building (whether in the past, present,
or future). However, throughout our
church’s rich history, we have seen
God use our buildings as a tool for
ministry and missions. Desiring to be
good stewards of what the Lord has so
graciously entrusted to First Baptist
Church of Tupelo, we believe these
proposed changes are consistent with
the faithfulness and vision of those who
have gone before us here at the corner
of Jefferson and Church Streets.
Please pray for our church over the
next few weeks as we consider these
changes. With confidence, we know
that God has used, is using, and
desires to use this body of believers.
What He Begins… He Finishes!
THE PROCESS THAT BROUGHT FBC TO TODAY
Work on the proposed concepts shared April 23, 2017, began almost twelve years ago when the church entertained a
study by Lifeway Church Architect Department about how we could maximize space with the footprint of the current
property at that time. Moving forward at that point was not in God’s timing. Discussions have continued, however, and
through many meetings of the Strategic Planning Committee, Properties Committees, Stewardship Committees and
Deacons, and through personal discussions and other venues, the church has sought the proper timing to expand in
The operating budget of the church provides between $50,000.00 and $70,000.00 each year for capital improvements.
The funds placed in this savings account provide funding for major capital needs during the year, or funds are
accumulated for major repair work in the future. Over the last eight years, the Capital Improvement Budget, along with a
$300,000 Capital Campaign has provided resources for the following work as approved by the church:
Replacement of the heating and cooling system in the Christian Life Center-$35,000.00
Replacement of the roof on the Grand Hall/Fellowship Hall/Youth/Preschool building - $82,000.00
Replacement of the heating and cooling system in the Children’s Area - $10,000.00
Replacement of the heating system in the Sanctuary - $17,000.00
Demolition of the Whitfield House - $23,000.00
Surveying and engineering preparation of parking lot renovations - $8,000.00
Replacement of several heating and cooling units (other than those listed) - $20,000.00
Renovation of the Preschool Area - $55,000.00
Tree removal and renovation of sound and media equipment in the Fellowship Hall and Sanctuary - $65,000.00
Renovation of the Grand Hall and Fellowship Hall, repainting of the second floor area, replacement of carpet in the
second floor area and a renovated main office entrance - $300,000
The insight of the church to provide a Capital Savings Fund, along with the one Capital Campaign, has proven beneficial
through the years. The funds have provided $615,000.00 for the maintenance and upkeep of the church facility without
placing a strain on the church budget or membership. However, current expansion and renovation needs exceed the
capacity of the Capital Savings Fund.
THE LAST SIX MONTHS
The Strategic Planning Committee started meeting in October to determine the best way for the church to meet current
and future needs. Because of their work, the following strategy was presented to the Stewardship Committee, Properties
Committee and Deacons in recent days.
Proposed Strategic Plan
We see Tupelo’s First Baptist Church …
Taking the lead of Jesus … letting Him lead and empower us by His indwelling Spirit and using us as a servant
people on mission to Tupelo, Lee County, the region and the world!
We see Tupelo’s First Baptist Church taking the lead of Jesus and sharing the Gospel – here, there, and
everywhere – as a servant people on mission! “ whoever wants to become ‘first’…” (Matthew 20:26b-27a)
To share the Gospel with people and help them become passionate followers of Jesus Christ.
Faith, Authentic Worship, Transformation, Compassionate Ministry, Giving, Excellence, Relationships
A. Connecting … People to God and One Another in Christ
Objective: To connect people to God through worship and to connect people to each other through fellowship.
I am excited about this opportunity and I
believe this plan will set us up for ministry
and growth for the foreseeable future.
1. Increase the campus capacity for future growth of worship participants to accommodate comfortable seating
for double the current average, or a total of approximately 1,300, by December 31, 2020.
2. Enhance the on-campus experience by improving parking, signage and access points.
3. Improve efficiency, quality, and capacity of the facilities to accommodate one contemporary service, one
traditional service, and one Grow Group time (including all supporting ministries) for both short term and long
term growth expectations.
4. Improve quality and efficiency of the worship experience to promote worship participation and grow worship
team leadership in sync with growth by December 31, 2020.
5. Update the church website and interaction with social media to broaden connections with church members
and increase local impact by December 31, 2020.
B. Growing … Through God’s Word in Small Group Discipleship
Objective: To involve all of our members in a discipleship process of becoming mature and passionate followers of
1. Engage 90% of regular worship attendees in Grow Group or one weekly Bible Study by December 31, 2020.
2. Identify and develop new and established Grow Groups and small group settings to facilitate discipleship.
C. Serving … Jesus Christ through Ministry and Mission
Objective: To actively engage members in sharing the Gospel and in offering love and compassion for a hurting
1. Engage 90% of regular worship attendees in at least one area of ongoing ministry by December 31, 2020.
2. Maintain participation of at least 75% of regular worship attendees in mission projects.
3. Research, develop and present to the church a plan for developing a non-profit Mission Organization for
local mission ministry by December 31, 2020.
4. Develop a world missional resource center to educate, resource and mobilize the church body by
December 31, 2020.
D. Supporting … the Church through Faithful Stewardship
Objective: To provide personnel, finances and facilities to support the life and ministry of the Church.
1. Promote an increase in budget giving by 10% per year through December 31, 2020.
2. Evaluate current facilities and develop a master plan to maximize current space and future expansion.
In late October 2016, the church staff contacted Church Interiors, the premier church consulting firm for churches with
current facilities needing renovation and expansion evaluations. The committee asked about ways to increase the
seating capacity of the Sanctuary, along with an overall evaluation of Preschool, Children and Youth areas. The call led
to the opportunity, with the approval of the Properties and Stewardship Committees, to engage Church Interiors in a
process that would provide an overall evaluation of the church facilities to determine possible options and concepts for
improved and additional space for parking, Preschool, Children, Youth and Sanctuary seating. The Lord
provided this opportunity at an initial cost of less than one-half of the normal cost of $8,000. The Properties and
Stewardship Committees agreed for an initial concept evaluation cost of $3,500.00 for the work from Church Interiors.
Church Interiors returned in late December 2016 with a proposed concept like the one presented to the church body
on April 23, 2017. During the time Church Interiors was assessing our current facility, the Properties Committee
continued to evaluate the most pressing need - the development of additional parking, along with an overlay of the
existing parking lot.
The Need for Additional Parking
The current parking at FBCT provides approximately 294 parking spaces with no approved ADA handicapped parking
currently available. Approximately four years ago, the church had an initial plan developed by ESI Engineering Firm of
Tupelo, which determined that the west parking lot nearest the Main Office entrance could be reconstructed to provide
easier access to the building by reducing the grade of the slope in the parking lot, including the development of the grass
area due west of the church. Since the parking study four years ago, the church has acquired additional property due
west of the back parking lot, as well as property due north of the church that should be included in the proposed parking
lot renovation. Without full design work on the proposed parking areas, initial estimates indicate the possibility of 550-600
I am excited about how this concept brings our church together. These changes allow both the people here and those God
wants us to reach: room to park, an environment to grow, and a place to worship and experience God’s love and truth.
The Need for Additional Space in the Building
Several ministries of the church are out of space. The three areas in critical need of space are the Preschool Ministry,
the Children’s Ministry and the Student Ministry. In addition to the education space needs, two other areas were
identified: a recognizable main point of entry into the building and the expansion of the seating capacity in the Sanctuary.
Note: Capacity of age group areas is based on industry recommended square footage.
The Preschool Ministry Area - 35 square feet per child
This area built in the most recent 1996 addition has reached its capacity. The current capacity of the Preschool
area is 100 children; the current average attendance is 94. Current space does not provide room for additional
growth at this time for the necessary square feet per child.
The Children’s Ministry Area - 35 square feet per child
The current Children’s area was constructed in 1966 and renovated in 1986. Current capacity for the Children’s
area is 90; the current average attendance on Sunday is 85. In addition, the children do not have a
location other than the Fellowship Hall for large group meetings and activities.
The Student Ministry Area - 25 square feet per student
The current Student Ministry area was constructed in 1996 with a capacity of 95 students. The current average
attendance on Sunday is 75, and on Wednesday nights between 80-100 meet in a large group space
designed for 70 students.
The Identifying Main Point of Entry
During the meetings over the last several months, many members recalled their first visit to FBCT and the
question of where to enter the building. The building currently provides twenty-one different access points. The
identifying common entry point for many churches is the front steps; however, twenty-one front steps are not the
best option for entering the building as identified by the 1984 Strategic Planning team. This discussion led Church
Interiors to include an atrium concept as a common point of entry.
The Increased Seating Capacity of the Sanctuary
The current Sanctuary has a seating capacity of 400 people, including floor and balcony seating. Church growth
studies indicate capacity is approximately 80% of seating capacity, which gives the current Sanctuary a capacity
of 320 people on any given Sunday. Other limiting factors impacting our current Sanctuary include limited
ingress and egress, as well as a small foyer for those entering or leaving the sanctuary.
BRINGING THE STRATEGIC PLANNING COMMITTEE
AND CHURCH INTERIORS CONCEPTS TOGETHER
The proposed concepts presented by Church Interiors enables the church to move towards the year 2020 with a plan
to accomplish the goals and directions recommended by the Strategic Planning team and embraced by the Stewardship
and Properties Committees. The work is proposed in two phases.
: $975,000 - $1,200,000
Parking Lot Renovation/Expansion
The current main parking lot will be renovated in its entirety and
expanded to full capacity on adjacent property owned by the
church. Renovations will include the following:
Milling and overlay of the east side parking lot, the
parking area north of the playground and the lower back
Removal and complete overhaul of the west side
parking lot from the Fellowship Hall to Jefferson Street.
West side of parking lot—Whitfield House area
Removal of the existing asphalt surface, followed by
extensive dirt work to lower the grade on the west side
and include the green space where the Whitfield house
once stood. The renovations to this area will provide
handicapped parking which meets ADA code and
provides better access to the building for those with
Development of parking on the west and north property
currently owned by the church. The development of
these two areas will depend on city code and city
Installation of new and expanded LED lighting
throughout all parking areas owned by the church.
Installation of new and additional landscaping and
irrigation as required by city code across the new
Installation of new landscape on the south side
(Jefferson Street) of the church property.
Installation of new exterior directional signage.
Construction of a fenced, covered parking area for
church vehicles and utility trailers.
Renovation of Adult Education Space (1 F Floor)
The Space utilized for Adult Grow Group classes, ESL and Choir
Suite area will undergo a major renovation for the first time since
being built in 1986. Work in this area will include the following:
New LED lighting throughout the area.
New ceiling tile.
New painting throughout the Adult area.
Creation of a new corridor where the current prayer
room is located. Prayer room will be relocated to a
location yet to be determined.
New floor covering.
New matching seating - some with arm rests and
without arm rests.
New wooden-slat blinds for the classrooms.
Renovation of the restrooms located behind the Choir
Installation of multimedia in classrooms where the need
West Side Parking
Adult Education Space and Choir Suite
The Lord's direction has been evident in recent months as we
have sought His will for the future of FBC Tupelo. We have
now an exciting and unified vision of His plan to follow.
It is awesome to see how God can put His plan in place.
From discussions I've personally witnessed to our meetings
with Church Interiors, the pieces just keep landing in place.
Ideas are brought forth by one committee with no knowledge
that the same ideas are being pursued by another committee.
God's plan will happen as long as we have faith!
My faith in Him has never let me down, so why should
I think it will start now!
Note: With church approval of the concept, a Feasibility
Study will be completed to determine the best option for
A. Renovation of existing Children’s building built in 1966
with additions on the east and west sides,
B. Demolition of the current Children’s building and
construction of a new building to meet current and
Main Entry Atrium
A building will be constructed on the west side of the
current Children’s building between the Main Office
entrance and the west Grand Hall entrance.
From this new main entry point, members and guests
can access the Grand Hall/Fellowship Hall, and
Sanctuary, and Adult Education space will be easily
Restrooms in the Entry Atrium will meet a longstanding
need to provide accessible restrooms for those entering
the building and for the Fellowship Hall/Grand Hall
Parents of Preschoolers will be able to check in their
children in the new main Atrium.
This addition provides a much-needed connector
between our two areas of greatest use: the Fellowship
Hall/Grand Hall and the Sanctuary.
Current Main Entry
Main Atrium Entry Composite
Main Atrium Entry Overlay
I am excited about this project and our church’s
future. I am specifically excited as a church greeter
for how these concepts provide more parking
spaces as well as easier access to our building
for our senior adults and guests.
Main Atrium Entry
I am looking forward to
our church being able to
address the parking issues
along with correcting the
confusion of finding your
way around our facilities
that visitors often
The current Preschool space constructed in 1996 has
provided many years of ministry but with great limitations.
When the area was constructed, few churches had ever
considered that future generations would have secure
locked areas for Preschool Ministries.
Fifteen years ago this need became a reality;
therefore, a main north-south corridor was
locked, limiting access with good flow throughout
The current space is designed for a capacity of
100. Our current average Sunday attendance
The current space is not equipped to handle the
many needs now required in Preschool Ministry;
nor was the space designed for a full-time Day
School Ministry with an enrollment of 140 plus
Storage space is extremely limited.
The Relocation of Preschool Ministry
Main Atrium Entry and Preschool Area (1st Floor)
The proposed concept is to build a modern
state-of-the-art Preschool area in the 1R building. This area would be on the backside of the new Atrium and
would extend east to the handicapped parking area on the east side of the building to the point where the
sidewalk currently comes in front of the Grand Hall entrance.
The current Preschool area would be repurposed to house adult classes, an indoor play area, teacher
resource/preparation rooms, and possibly a large group Preschool meeting space.
As a preschool teacher and extended session worker, I am
very excited about these proposed changes. These plans will
provide an adequately designed, safe and secure space that
will be large enough to accommodate growth that our
current setup can't support.
Children’s Area Renovations (2R Floor)
The current Children’s area was constructed in 1966 and
provides space for 90 children. Current average attendance on
Sunday is 85.
The proposed concept will provide additional space
for children along with a large group meeting space.
The area will provide a main check point in the
Children’s Area, along with security enhancements.
The main hallway passage from the upper foyer to
the Sanctuary will be accessible during church-wide
worship and event times. At other times the area will
Student Ministry Area (3rd Floor)
The current Student Ministry area was constructed
in 1996 with a capacity of 95 students. The current
average attendance on Sunday is 75, and
Wednesday nights between 80-100 in a large group
space designed for 70 students.
The current Student Ministry area will become
Adult Grow Group space in the proposed
The proposed concept provides a new third-floor
addition to the current Children’s Building to
house the new and expanded Student Ministry
The current area utilized by the students was
constructed in 1996. Space limitations currently
exist in the area.
A Feasibility Study will determine if an addition
of this size can be achieved and the cost
effectiveness of such an addition.
Children’s Area Overlays
Children’s Area (2nd Floor)
Student Ministry Relocation
Our church has been blessed with a growing number of young
families. I’m so excited about the new direction the Lord has
placed before us! I believe it will create an atmosphere that
will greater support and serve our young families!
Education Building - Office/Library/Conference Rooms
An enlarged foyer with a common informational area
will be included in the area now occupied by the Library
and center rooms on second floor.
An enlarged Foyer and Commons area will provide
much improved ingress and egress from the Sanctuary
A quiet area with a glass foyer will separate the
Sanctuary area from the Commons area.
Renovated and enlarged restrooms will be installed.
A bridal dressing area will be included.
Corridor renovation on the second floor will provide
open flow from the newly constructed Atrium to the
Sanctuary, as well as open access from the Sanctuary
to the Fellowship Hall.
A second elevator will be installed in the area next to
the steps on the west end of the Educational Building,
providing additional access for the increased traffic.
A pastoral greeting/ worship counseling area will be
The Library and some offices will be moved to an area
yet to be determined. One possibility is transforming
the Library into a bookstore-style area where church
members can have easy access to the latest Christian
reading, discipleship material, CDs and DVDs of
services and sermons.
The current Sanctuary was built following the devastating fire in
November 1950. Through the years the Sanctuary has
undergone many renovations to meet the needs of the
congregation. The proposed concept includes renovations to
meet current and future needs to continue being a lighthouse
from the corner of Church and Jefferson Street.
The seating capacity of the Sanctuary will be increased
from the current 400 to 729. This provides true seats
by providing theatre-style seating on the main floor and
in the balcony.
All lighting in the Sanctuary will be replaced with more
energy-efficient lighting. Current lighting is proving
more challenging as regulations eliminate the
production of bulbs currently used in the Sanctuary .
The 67-year-old baptistery will be replaced. It has been
patched almost beyond repair. The current heating,
plumbing and material used in construction are well
beyond life expectancy.
The HVAC will be replaced with a more energy
efficient system. The current system is inadequate and
aging. Heating and cooling the building is challenging
and costly. The proposed renovation will be all inclusive
renovations--heating, baptistery, stage, sound system,
flooring, HVAC and lighting.
Sanctuary - Bottom Floor
Sanctuary - Balcony
I think the main thing I’m most excited about is selecting the
service we want to attend versus attending where our class we
teach attends. We will be able to reunite our youth group and
have solid leadership for each grade if we all are in Grow Groups
at the same hour. We also will attract young families that are
the future of FBCT.
Other Areas to be Addressed in the
Proposed Concept Development
World Mission Center
Relocation of the Storage and
Maintenance Shop Area
Increasing accessibility to the
interior areas of the building
Layout of Second Floor - Sanctuary, Office, Library, Conference Rooms, Children’s Area
Overlay of Renovations
I am excited that this project will
provide greater opportunity for all age
groups to worship together.
Fellowship is vital for unity within
the church body and serves as a
powerful witness to seekers of
Christ’s redeeming love!
“May they be brought to complete
unity to let the world know that
You sent Me …” John 17:23