Building Our Future

August 2021 Update: Since the June vote, The Conference Committee for Building and Locations met with the Coordinating Team. The Council asked many questions about the site, floor plans, and financials. They were impressed and have tentatively approved the plan and indicated they would approve the final plan once it was completed. Also, our architects, after listening to the congregations’ comments and suggestions, are updating the plans for the new church.

Members have asked about the timeline. ARC Designs will be coring the site to determine the integrity of the land. After this, a timeline is as follows: The architects are  currently working on schematic design modifications and approval from the Coordinating Team. Once approved they will begin the Design Development Phase and begin the construction document phase. The plan is by December/January that they will have the construction documents sent out for bids and obtain all needed permits. Once contracts are approved and the bid has been awarded to the construction company a final approval will be made. The hope is for a groundbreaking in early March with a 10-month construction phase until completion. The architectural firm of Saavedra Group Architects, will be the project managers.

Currently the estimated cost for the building will be $3.6 million and presently we have $3.1 million received.


Special Announcement: On Sunday, June 6, at a special charge conference vote presided over by Rev. Dr. Brian Gilbert, DeKalb District Superintendent, a resolution was presented to approve the building plans as presented by Saavedra Gehlhausen Architects.  The vote was overwhelmingly approved with an 81-2 vote.  The plans have been sent on to the District Buildings and Locations Committee for review and approval.  The Coordinating Team will be meeting in the near future to lay out the next steps in making the new  First United Methodist Church building a reality.  Stay tuned for more updates.


May 7, 2021

We are excited to present the proposed floor plan for our new church building.  This floor plan has evolved from many hours, days, months and years of hard work, careful planning, and prayerful consideration.  Visits to  recently constructed churches by many in the congregation helped visualize our floor plan needs.  Dozens of people from our congregation volunteered their time and expertise on nine teams including Kitchen, Music, Education, and Technology.  Their ideas have been shared with our architects, Saavedra and Gehlhausen, who have made every effort to incorporate them into this floor plan. Eleven different plans and countless revisions to those plans were evaluated. 

Highlights of the floor plan include an entryway that lines up with the sanctuary as you enter, a multi-purpose narthex that can be used for fellowship needs, overflow seating capacity, and an open “play” space for our children, youth, and community groups.  In addition, the plan anticipates the use of our stained-glass windows as a legacy connection to our current sanctuary.  The administration area will put all our staff office space together, allowing for easier communication and collaboration, and the office will have a direct line of sight to the entryway for added security.  The plan also offers a commercial kitchen and a family bathroom, in addition to a men’s and a women’s bathroom.  The configuration is such that additions may be made in the future.  The Building Coordinating Team feels that the floor plan presented here is the best possible plan within the constraints of our budget.

The projected cost of this proposed floor plan is $3.6 million, of which $3.1 million has been raised.  Therefore, our church will still need $500,000 in loans or donations.

If you have any questions about the floor plan, please direct them to one of the co-chairs the Building Coordinating Team,  John Ward at 815 761-3282, jward28233@yahoo.com or Sherry Uhrich at 815 901-2872 (after 4 pm), suhrich@firstumc.net.

June 6, 2021 is going to be a very important day in the life of our church.  That day the Building Coordinating Team will present this floor plan for a simple yes or no vote to all professing members.  Click here to see who is eligible to vote.  Due to the pandemic, the best way to do the vote is being evaluated.  Further information regarding the vote will be forthcoming in another letter.

Sherry Uhrich, co-chair; John Ward, co-chair; Shaun Chapman; Karen Mason; Gene Stanley; Jonathan Crail, Pastor     


Our church architects recently gave a special presentation of the proposed floor plans for our new church building. Watch for a mailing from the Church with information directly from the presentation, including the floor plans and simple elevations of what the general shape of the outside will look like. A video-recording of the May 4 virtual presentation is available on our Church YouTube channel (New Building Presentation May 4 2021 – YouTube).