Construction continues for Wilsonville Baptist

Published 2:56 pm Wednesday, July 2, 2008

By AMY GORDON / Staff Writer

WILSONVILLE – Upstairs in Wilsonville Baptist’s new multipurpose building, colors explode from the walls. While wires and dust are everywhere, it’s easy to imagine what the rooms will become.

“These are Sunday School rooms and space for the youth,” said Gordon Fluker, smiling happily. Fluker, chairman of the church’s building committee, has a big reason to smile. A $4 million reason, to be exact.

That’s how much the 29,000-square-foot building is costing the church. However, to hear Fluker and Pastor Steve Thomas tell it, the congregation wouldn’t have it any other way.

“The church members have been very positive,” Thomas said. “There’s a lot of unity behind it.”

Without that unity, the behemoth building wouldn’t be going up.

The building has gone from conception to reality quickly. Plans have been in place only since early 2007, Fluker said. After seeing six possible plans, the committee chose one and moved ahead with construction in October 2007.

“We’re doing this for the glory of God,” Fluker said.

The funding for the building comes from tithes and offerings, as well as a loan from M& Bank, said Fluker. The building is expected to open in October of this year.

The new building will contain a gym with a basketball court, a stage for church services and dramas, a walking track, a fellowship hall, a kitchen and Sunday school rooms.

The church has also added 200 parking spaces as well as a gazebo in the center of its front parking lot.

The building, which takes up a large portion of a city block, required some strategic planning. Wilsonville’s old Masonic lodge had to be moved a block to the west to accommodate construction.

The building will be a cornerstone of the community, Thomas said.

Classes will be conducted there, as well as worship services and women’s events. Wilsonville’s annual block party-complete with inflatables and games-will actually be held inside the building soon after its opening date, he said.

“We’re going to have a lot of opportunities we’ve never had before,” Thomas said. “This is going to be an outreach to the community. We’ll have a lot of things available.”

While church officials have their hands full with the multipurpose building, they do have other ideas to continue church revitalization.

“Somewhere after this we’re looking at a sanctuary, but that may be way down the road,” Thomas said. “We need to get this project done before we get too far ahead.”

While those are words of caution, the pastor shows no caution about the new addition.

“It’s really amazing how everything has gone, and how smooth it’s been,” he said. “It’s very exciting.