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November 1, 2018

Warrenton Baptist ministry center breaks ground Nov. 4

Photo/Don Del Rosso
Missional Pastor Brad Beals will manage the Warrenton Baptist Church’s “Gathering Place.”
I think it will bless the whole community. That’s our prayer and hope.
— Warrenton Baptist Church Pastor Jay Lawson
The Gathering Place
• What: Warrenton Baptist Church’s planned one-story, 5,240-square-foot building for services, ministry and community uses.

• Where: 27.8 acres at the end of Alwington Boulevard, behind Brumfield Elementary School, Warrenton.

• Property owner: Warrenton Baptist Church.

• Details: Large meeting room, office, storage, two restrooms, "warming" kitchen and “crying” room.

• General Contractor: Dominion Construction Group, Warrenton.

• Architect: James F. “J” Tucker, Warrenton.

• Details: Church from 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday will host celebration and conduct ceremonial groundbreaking for the project at the worship/ministry center property; church hopes to receive site plan approval from town government and begin excavation in about two weeks;
center should be completed next spring.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
After more than a decade of discussion and planning, the Warrenton Baptist Church on Sunday afternoon will conduct a ceremonial groundbreaking and celebration for its long-awaited ministry center behind Brumfield Elementary School.

The free, community event, including a cookout, games, activities and a movie, will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. at the nearly 28-acre property.

The groundbreaking will take place at 2:30 p.m.

> Video at bottom of story

Warrenton Baptist soon hopes to receive town government site plan approval for the project and begin excavation in mid-November, said Missional Pastor Brad Beals, who will manage the center.

The church expects to complete and open the center next spring, Mr. Beals said.

The property will be served by Alwington Boulevard, which provides access to Wal-Mart, The Home Depot and James G. Brumfield Elementary School.

Clad in vertical board-and-batten siding with a metal roof, the one-story, 5,240-square-foot building will offer church and ministry services and create a venue for community activities.

The church will continue to maintain administrative offices and conduct Sunday school and services at 123 Main St., where the sanctuary can accommodate up to 250 people.

But “The Gathering Place” will allow Warrenton Baptist to provide a wider range of community services and activities and appeal to people who don’t belong to a church or may be searching for one, Mr. Beals said.

“We didn’t want this building to be a newer clone of what we have,” he explained Wednesday during an interview at the site. “We have a beautiful worship structure on Main Street. What we really wanted was a building that could primarily be for engaging people in ways we couldn’t use the current building.”

While “nothing’s set in stone,” the new building could include a coffee house, tutoring to Brumfield students and yoga and music classes, said Mr. Beals, 29.

“Things that people in the community would enjoy gathering around — that would give us an opportunity to engage with and build relationships with people,” he added. “The biggest thing we’re about is building relationships.”

Expanding Warrenton Baptist’s membership could be a “byproduct” of the center’s programs, Mr. Beals said.

“If we find people that aren’t already plugged into a church that are looking for a church, and find Warrenton Baptist, that would be a win for us,” he said. “But it’s not necessarily a goal to gather people who already have churches to pull them away to ours.”

The building will include:

• Worship/meeting space that could accommodate up to 200 people.

• A small office and storage.

• A “warming” kitchen primarily to heat prepared food.

• Two restrooms.

• A “crying” room.

The church has about 700 members on its roster — with about 350 active, Pastor Jay Lawson said.

Rev. Lawson estimated the project’s site development and construction costs at $1.5 million.

The church has set aside $800,000 for the project, he said.

Last fall, it launched a capital campaign to cover the project and three years of operating costs — totaling about $2 million, the pastor said.

To date, pledges amount to about $600,000, he added.

The project probably will require some financing but the amount of debt incurred remains unknown for now, Rev. Lawson said.

Longtime Warrenton Baptist member Arabelle L. Arrington, who died more than eight years ago, donated the land to the church in 2005.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Mr. Beals said of the center. “It’s really an exciting time for us.”

“I think it will bless the whole community,” Rev. Lawson said. “That’s our prayer and hope.”

Contact Don Del Rosso at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 540-270-0300.

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Sven622 · November 2, 2018 at 11:09 pm
Good, it's behind Brumfield Elementary. Still leaves room for a Costco next to Home Depot! grin
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