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Muskogee, Southeast has ‘New’ Building

494737359cce619191d17ac61d19ccabMuskogee, Southeast members are now worshipping in a brand new faciility. Or are they? The answer is yes . . . and the answer is no.

Facing Hancock Street in Muskogee, the building looks brand-spanking new. But actually, the new facility is wrapped around several old buildings like a great big Christmas present.

When Monty Baggett became pastor some five years ago, it was evident the church needed more space. So they bought 5.6 acres of land west of the church, thinking it could be used for future expansion.

The church at that time consisted of three buildings in a horseshoe shape with the auditorium in the center of the horseshoe. The church began in a tent on that property 50 years ago, and the auditorium was only 25 years old.

Baggett said the church elected a 32-member future vision committee which brought two recommendations: that the members concentrate on paying off the land, and that the church form a building committee to look into the need of constructing a new building or expanding existing facilities.

“Our choices were to build something new, relocate or expand our existing buildings,” said Baggett. “If we were going to build, we wanted to build something we could afford right now.”

Baggett said a look at their offerings showed they were ahead of budget, so they decided to keep $40,000 in the bank and everything above that amount would go into the building fund.

“We took everything above our general balance in the bank each month and transferred it to the building fund,” he explained. “In two and a-half years, we had $456,000.”

Baggett added that they did no fund-raising.38857b3cad15a36bd4993c53e622c256

“Our people, in the last two and a-half years gave $475,000 in designated gifts.”

By building around its existing facilities, the church saved $1 million in building costs.

“We expanded what we had, tore part down, rebuilt and added to the auditorium,” Baggett said. “We did not abandon the autditorium, but added seating for 175.”

Basically, Baggett said, it is a new building, although the old facitities were incorporated into the new.

“All the entrances are new or remodeled to look new, we tied multiple roof lines to look like one, and although there are different floor levels, they were ramped and sloped to bring them together, and they are hardly noticeable,” he said.

New paint and carpet added to the existing areas tied everything together.

Baggett said about 60 percent is new construction, including a new preschool area, offices, five adult Sunday School departments, four bathrooms, a lobby across the front and the addition to the auditorium.

The church borrowed $1.39 million from the Baptist Foundation, which Baggett said was wonderful to work with.

“And we know the interest is going for a good cause,” he said.1d4b7546567afa26bf019b86b019bf8d

“A new building would have cost us $3 million, and we would have had to remodel or tear down the old buildings,” said Baggett. “By building around what we already had, we did it for $2 million, and it looks and feels brand new.”

The building was dedicated in early October. A slide show, accompanied by Stephen Curtis Chapman’s “The Great Adventure,” which is 270 seconds long, flashed 270 pictures of the building, from day one of construction to completion.

The bottom line is the church has a new buiding with adequate space, and saved $1 million by being creative.

“A savings of $1 million is not insignificant,” said Baggett.

Dana Williamson

Author: Dana Williamson

Dana Williamson is a Special Correspondent for the Baptist Messenger

View more articles by Dana Williamson.

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