Editor’s note: The following article appears in the May 2016 issue of Religious Product News.
First Baptist Church of Jonesboro has enjoyed much success at its greater Atlanta-area campus. In 2001, the church began upgrading its facilities, starting by adding a Recreation Outreach Center, called The ROC, as a ministry for youth.
In 2010, the church took on a major renovation of its 57,500-square-foot worship center. The next step was to renovate and expand its existing three-story children’s building.
Church leadership called on CDH Partners from Marietta, Georgia, the architects they had used for its previous projects, to help streamline their plans.
During previous renovations, the church had moved its fellowship hall from the first floor of the 30,000-square-foot children’s building to its old gymnasium, which opened a large amount of space. The building also had a drive-under portion that architects posed closing to add even more space.
The renovated first floor would provide a secure entrance to the Children’s Center, as well as lead to the sanctuary. This floor would include classrooms and playrooms for toddlers and pre-K students. The second floor would have classrooms for younger elementary students. And the third floor would have classrooms for older elementary students. Please continue reading.
Work is well underway at the construction site for historic Friendship Baptist Church in Atlanta. This new location on Walnut Street is adjacent to Morris Brown College and about four blocks from the church’s original location.
CDH Partners Project Manager Carine Kroko and firm Principal David Strickland were on site for a meeting and site tour with the Van Winkle construction team.
The site will take shape quickly once the drainage is in. Plans call for this new campus to be completed in the spring of 2017.
CDH Partners is the architectural design firm for the new historical Friendship Baptist Church. This drone footage was recently shot as construction at the new campus ramps up. Plans call for construction be completed in April 2017 in time for the church to celebrate it 155th year anniversary. Friendship is one of the oldest African-American churches in the city of Atlanta. The new 44,000 square foot church will contain state-of-the-art technology and a sanctuary that seats 500. The design for the Fellowship Hall will be flexible and contain a stage and room for over 450 people, while a smaller chapel will seat 200. The church will also contain educational and choir rehearsal space.
(Editor’s note: The following article recently appeared in Religious Product News Magazine)
Morningside Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia, had always believed that providing a fulfilling church life experience for the entire family was the key ingredient in growing a strong church. When the church needed to expand its facilities to accommodate growing membership, it made sense to reinvest in its ministry programs.
Church leadership organized a Long Range Planning Committee and hired architects, engineers and interior designers from CDH Partners based in Marietta, Georgia, to design a master plan that would address the church’s present ministry needs as well as provide a plan for future expansion as membership continued to grow. The plan would be phased, with the first phase addressing the most pressing desires.
Morningside is a traditional-style, red brick church. The campus consisted of a large sanctuary building, fellowship hall, and a cluster of classroom buildings linked together by walkways. The ministry programs, however, were physically disconnected, scattered among several buildings on campus. This was a primary concern for church leadership, which wanted to tie together the programs together in one building to form a Children’s Ministry Center.
Adult ministry space would also need updating and renovating and, ideally, would connect in some way to the new Children’s Ministry Center.
As part of the planning process, focus groups were organized to help identify areas that could be improved. A recurring theme that came out of the focus group meetings was the need for more space for preschool, children and pre-teens to worship and express their creativity.
In response, CDH Partners designed a 39,000-square-foot, two-story building that would be situated behind the current sanctuary. Click here to continue reading.
You can also view the digital online version of this magazine. Click here and turn to page 12.
The Ground Breaking Ceremony for Friendship Baptist Church was held on Sunday, October 18, at 4 pm. CDH is the architect for this historical church. Friendship Baptist Church was established in 1862 and independently organized in 1866, in the days following the Civil War. Friendship is Atlanta’s first black Baptist autonomous congregation. The church began in a discarded railroad boxcar that was donated by a Cincinnati, Ohio, church. The boxcar served as a worship space on Sundays. By 1865, it was used for early classes at the burgeoning Atlanta University.
The membership grew rapidly so the congregation moved to a larger building on the corner of Haynes and Markham Streets and later to the Mitchell Street location.
Friendship’s role in black education has been unique and very important. In 1879, after Morehouse College moved to Atlanta from Augusta, classes were held at Friendship Baptist Church. Years later in 1881, Spelman College had its beginning in the basement of the Mitchell Street site. Close ties between these educational institutions and Friendship Baptist Church continue today. —Taken from the Ground Breaking program produced by Friendship Baptist Church
The new building should be completed in spring 2017.
CDH Principal and Director of the Worship Studio David Strickland was recently interviewed for an article published in the 2015 September/October issue of Worship Facilities Magazine. In the article, he talks about one of CDH’s latest projects, Roopville First Baptist Church located in Carrolton, Georgia.
The church, which was founded in 1978, is located in a small rural community. For many years, it enjoyed success in a modest 40 by 90 foot two-story red brick building. Then the community surrounding the church began to grow fast and church leaders knew they had to act quickly or risk seeing a reduction in attendance and worship involvement.
You can read the outcome of the Roopville First Baptist project by clicking here and viewing the full on-line magazine. (Please turn to pages 34-36.) Or click here to read the shorter web version of this article.
Members of the CDH Partners marketing team were recently in Gardendale, Alabama, to shoot a video that will include Gardendale First Baptist Church, it’s campus, the newly constructed Kidz Kingdom, and worship center. The church’s campus and buildings are part of a Master Plan designed by CDH.
The membership of Gardendale First Baptist wanted their Master Plan to be structured with the idea of building community and strengthening families. In this photo, the pastor has easy access to the congregation, and Pastor Kevin Hamm makes the most of this fact by personally greeting as many in the congregation as possible.
CDH Partners President Bill Chegwidden, FAIA, was interviewed about the importance of having a Master Plan and how it helps churches realize their dreams for the future while staying on track financially and physically.
Later after the inside video along with plenty of b-roll was shot, Bill Chegwidden takes a closer look at the construction of the drone that was used to fly over Gardendale’s campus and shoot HD video.
A few minutes later, it was launched and flying high. The video of this amazing church is being produced now and will be available for our clients and friends to view in about three weeks.
This church has dramatic views and points of interest that brands them as reaching out to the world.
The National Catholic Partnership on Disability in partnership with Loyola Press recently announced that St. John Neumann Catholic Church is the 2014 winner of the Loyola Press Parish Award.
Judges noted that St. John Neumann Parish has gone above and beyond to make their sacred space accessible to everyone, who worships there. They also stated, “The sacred space maintains its beauty and purpose while being accessible to all and allow for person with physical disabilities to worship and to minister at the parish. “Being sensitive to the needs of others is not a separate space or program; it is an organic part of the church and its community.”
Executive Director of NCPD Janice Benton says, “The parish of St. John Neumann has truly spared no effort to make their church accessible to the last detail. They have done this in an effort to ensure this today, and also for the future. This means that priests and parishioners will have access and continue their ministry at the altar.”
CDH Partners created a master plan that made sure the physical features of the church embodied a spirit of inclusion. The plan called for the construction of new 850-seat sanctuary along with the addition of classrooms and storage space. There was a conscience effort by the design team to move those who stepped into the worship center from “secular to sacred.”
Natural finishes create a sense of warmth, worship, and welcome. Parish doors are equipped with pulls so those in wheelchairs can easily navigate through the building. The main entrances have automatic door openers. The reading desk in the ambo along with the altar has been adjusted in height. An 80 by 120-foot plaza connects the existing church building to the new sanctuary. A principle feature of this church is the life-size baptismal font located in the front of the narthex. The church’s main aisle is elongated and contains light fixtures that provide beams of warm light on either side of the nave and the narthex. The tile pattern of the floor is used to connect the nave to sanctuary.
Editor’s note the following article was recently published in Religious Product News.
The day St. John Neumann Catholic Church opened the doors to its new worship space in Lilburn, Georgia, in the mid-80s, the parish had already outgrown its building. Over the next 25 years, membership grew so much that the church was holding 11 masses every weekend.
“It was wearing the clergy out,” says Ernest C. (Terry) Biglow, architect and principal with CDH Partners, an integrated design firm based in Marietta, Georgia.
When the parish consulted with CDH about an expansion at the church, they actually came with another architect’s plan in hand. The design included a new parish hall and chapel attached to the existing church building. But something about the plan did not feel right.
“The parish hall was designed at the end of an existing six-foot-wide corridor that ran through church offices, creating a circulation issue. The proposed chapel was small and awkwardly placed,” Biglow recalls. His first question to parish leaders was, “Have you ever done a Master Plan?”
They had not. This is when Biglow suggested they take time to determine the needs of the church. Then they could develop a Master Plan for the present and for years to come. It also would serve as a framework for their future building decisions. Click here to continue reading.
by Bill Chegwidden FAIA, founding principal and president CDH Partners
Forty years ago, I remember being in a worship service where the pastor spoke with a missionary by telephone, who was living on the other side of the world. The conversation was broadcast live and everyone in attendance was amazed by what they heard.
If that same missionary was with us today, he or she would have even more of an opportunity to engage an audience and to become an integral part of the service. Digital technology creates an atmosphere where individuals on the other side of the city, state, country, or world can appear to be on stage in front of us. But the technology doesn’t stop here. It goes far beyond this to a point where a church can become a central point of focus within a community by using various forms of media and communication. It all begins when church leaders ask a very important question: How do we connect the needs of our congregation in today’s evolving digital world?
For years, churches have looked for effective ways to bridge this growing gap by having a traditional and non-traditional worship services but change has always been hard. Just a few years ago, architects designed churches and worship centers with long narrow hallways, large classrooms, and very few gathering spaces. We’ve moved away from this because we realize that people crave community. They want to worship in churches that provide areas and spaces that encourage interaction and engagement. And they want these areas to be places that are welcoming, bright, and warm. Some contain fireplaces, coffee bars, Wi-Fi, and an atmosphere that is engaging and builds community. They are places where people connect with others. To continue reading this article, please click here.
Editor’s note: The following article by Paulla Shetterly, principal and director of Interior Design with CDH Partners, recently appeared in Church Executive Magazine.
“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. I’ve learned that the designs must be progressive, because congregations — students and their parents — are progressive.
This can be a huge challenge for churches. Students want to hear truth, but they want it presented in a way that speaks to their needs and their personal experiences. Theming has become very popular because it represents a commitment, an investment and a buy-in to the lives of others — particularly students and children. Students are looking for churches that offer an intentional worship experience. How a church deals with this often boils down to the design of a facility.
How it takes shape
In designing a worship space for children, we adjust the scale of the themed environment to fit their perspectives. Colors are more intense, elements are added to fit their age group, and areas are designed to be fun and full of natural light. We want them to be eager to go to church and eager to return. We also design secure check-in areas and systems.
A major challenge for many churches is creating areas that look and feel like the age group that will be using them. If a church is going to grow and retain its students, the spaces must be sophisticated places of engagement and also take advantage of the latest in technology. Designs should incorporate lighting, color schemes and surfaces that are colorful and durable. Please click here to continue reading