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Humdrum to Welcome

lobby of Bon Air pc

The corridor connecting the two wings of Bon Air Presbyterian was dark and crowded, especially on Sunday mornings. The building’s dated HVAC systems and bathrooms were in need of updates.

“The primary entry into the facility felt like a 1950s school,” said Pastor Janet Winslow, “not the vitally-engaged congregation that we are. Our vision was to create a more contemporary and spacious welcome corridor that better reflects our commitment to hospitality and accessibility.”

The 300-member congregation first worked with an architecture firm to envision a master plan for their building. They met with Rexrode and hired a consultant to help them raise the $755,000 construction budget.

Bon Air’s capital campaign kicked off in October 2017 in coordination with their annual stewardship initiative. At the conclusion of the dual campaign, the church had received $517,000 in pledges toward renovations.

Construction from June to November 2018 created a community space which leads to the sanctuary. Bathrooms were moved and upgraded. Remodeled storage rooms allowed more natural light to fill the corridor and created a meeting room that overlooks a memorial garden. The church nursery was moved from the back of the education wing. Accessibility and energy efficiency measures helped the project qualify for a lower interest rate through the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program.

“Conducting this campaign helped us see that well planned and supported change can be good,” shared Winslow. “We have renewed enthusiasm for inviting and welcoming guests to our church and into our church family.”

lobby of Bon Air pc
Open space and natural light welcome visitors at Bon Air Church’s new entrance. The church nursery is nearby, convenient for busy parents.

Coordinating a Capital Campaign at Your Church

Presbytery of the James employs a full-time associate for Stewardship to work with congregations of any size, serve as a resource, and provide suggestions for steps in the process. To explore a capital campaign at your church, contact Deborah Rexrode by email or by calling 804-262-2074.

Deborah Rexrode

This article was originally published in the Summer 2019 issue of the Vine. Find this issue and others online.