Frequently Asked Questions
How can I know what to give?
Most of us feel more fear than faith when it comes to our money. This campaign is our opportunity to ask God to give us the faith to trust Him with our whole lives, including our financial resources. We strongly believe that He will guide each of us to what our response should be to this campaign. It will not be simply a financial answer, because the question is deeply spiritual. The open-handed prayer we’re suggesting you pray asks the question: “God, out of what You’ve placed in my hands, what would you have me give to your work through Grace Monroe?”
When do I respond with my 2-year commitment?
The weekend of November 11 is Commitment Weekend. During our Sunday gathering you’ll have the opportunity to bring your commitment card to the front of the stage as an act of worship. Cards will then be recorded confidentially by the Grace Financial Office.
Why do we ask for a commitment?
The commitment process is a huge benefit when it comes to long-term planning for Grace’s future. When households indicate what they plan to give over a the 24-month period, we can make cash flow decisions as well as interact with lending institutions using commitments as a projection of future income.
What happens if we raise more than the $1,250,000?
Our estimated project cost for this first phase of renovation is $2,500,000. We plan to raise $1.25m in addition to the $250,000 we already have in the building fund, and borrow $1m. If we exceed raising $1.25m, great! That will enable us to begin planning towards future phases of the Bold Springs property.
Where did the $2.5m project cost come from?
After working with our architect for master planning and our program needs/priorities, we came up with an initial design that beautifully and thoughtfully captured our heart for the potential first phase of renovation. We then received rough estimates from several contractors on those initial renderings. At the same time, based on our current giving patterns and growth projections, as well as the church-wide assessment we did last spring, we “worked backwards” to figure out how a reasonable construction budget based on our campaign goal, while also keeping any needed construction loan payments in line with our current monthly lease.
Why are we saying this is the “first phase of renovation” but “Phase 2” of the project?
Phase 1 was the acquisition of the property in October 2017, which we view as a miracle in itself. Not only does the historic Monroe school property perfectly fit the heart and vision of Grace Monroe, and is located in an optimal location at the gateway to our city, but it came available at just the right time for our needs. On top of that, through the overwhelming generosity of a handful of families in our community, Grace Monroe was able to purchase the property and take care of the immediate security/maintenance issues debt-free.
Why did the church vote to approve a small loan at the same time we voted to approve the purchase of the property if we could do it debt-free?
The staff and elders thought it wise to insure we had adequate funding left over in our building fund to meet the requirements of the city to secure and maintain the property immediately after closing, and to begin moving forward on design and engineering for renovation. Therefore we received a small loan from a local bank for those purposes. However, after everything was said and done there was enough in the building fund for all the above, so the note was paid off in full after only a few months. We are now able to begin Phase 2, the renovation of the property, debt-free.
If $2.5M is for the first phase of renovation, what are the future phases?
There is a ton of potential for the future of this property, from a community kitchen to intern apartments, to a leadership/ministry school, to a ministry collaborative and co-working space. One of our favorite ideas for the future is a large outdoor amphitheater and park space on the large lawn. Each one of those potential future ideas has different funding possibilities, with everything from lease-generated revenue, to crowd-sourcing, to USDA grants. However, right now we are focused on planting Grace Monroe on that property as a local church, getting rooted in the neighborhood, and then prayerfully considering the best way to move forward with activating the remaining space.
What if we fall short of our target?
Our goal is on the conservative side for a church our size, and we believe by God’s grace we will attain it. We’ve planned carefully, asked for feedback, and sought God’s direction. However, if we do not receive sufficient commitments, we will adjust the timeline of completion, not the projects themselves. The financial strength and stability of the church always receives the highest consideration in planning how we proceed.
Should I reduce my regular giving to support the “Acorns to Oaks” campaign?
Please do not. Grace Monroe has an aggressive and ministry-focused general fund budget that depends on the faithful tithes and offerings of our congregation. Capital campaign giving is “over and above” giving, and over a 2-year period.
How will financial facts and progress be reported to the congregation?
We’ve created a custom website, graceformonroe.org/acorns, for the purpose of updating you on the progress of each exciting project. The site is packed with images and videos that tell the story of what God is doing through Grace Monroe. Here you’ll be able to find how much we’ve raised at any point during our 2-year journey. We’ll be sure to keep you updated via email and social media too. If you haven’t followed our social channels yet, or signed up for our weekly e-news, the time is now!
How should I complete my gift? What are the benefits of my gift from a tax perspective?
The two calendar years of the campaign will actually cover three tax years. That means a commitment to Grace Monroe can be fulfilled in years 2018, 2019, and 2020. So while the giving period is 24 months (Nov 2018-Nov 2020), the three tax years could allow for a larger pledge amount if you are a tax-deduction conscious giver. You may complete your pledge weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually, one-time, all at the beginning, all at the end, etc. The giving period will officially be completed November 2020.
Who is responsible for this property renovation design/layout?
There is a Design Team, consisting of several Grace Monroe Staff, Board members, along with our architect. This team has been meeting and will continue to meet during the project design phase to complete the property renovation plan/layout.
Who have we selected as the Architect for this property renovation?
For the initial design concepts we employed Atlanta-based architect, Kronberg Wall, who is also involved with Grace Midtown’s renovation project. For the next phase of architecture and engineering we went back to bid between four excellent options, including KW. Based on costs and availability we have retained the services of Wakefield, Beasley & Associates to take our concept drawings to full construction documents. They come highly-qualified with past projects including Passion City Church, Perimeter Church, and City of Refuge.
What will we gain from this property renovation?
- Increased space for adults, students, and kids to worship and be discipled
- More indoor meeting/training spaces
- More exterior connection/community spaces
- Increased parking
- Improved facility for city events, conferences, meetings, etc
- Staff office space
- Additional Auditorium seating
- 8.5 acres of in-town property at the gateway to our city
- Greater visibility
How many parking spaces will we have with this property?
We will have approximately 250 parking spaces between on-site parking lots and on-street parking around S. Madison, Bold Springs, and Midland Avenue.
Have we been approved for a loan from the bank?
We are working with a local bank to finalize loan terms. Our goal is to keep our monthly note in line with our current lease payment at the Mill. We will have our construction loan finalized prior to breaking ground.
When are we planning to break ground on this project?
We are hoping to break ground in early 2019.
What is the estimated timeline for construction?
We have a rough estimate for a construction timeline of 12-18 months. Therefore, we are aiming for this project to be complete Summer 2020.
How will the renovated property impact the local neighborhood and city of Monroe?
We are designing the new building and outdoor meeting spaces to be able to be used by a variety of different groups, organizations, etc. In addition, one of our priorities is to create space that feels like part of the neighborhood and connects with downtown. Ultimately, our hope is the entire property will be activated all week - not just Sundays.
What about the historic library?
As part of the negotiations with the previous owner, the 0.5 acre tract with the Memorial Library (at the corner of Bold Springs and Midland) was exchanged for significantly reducing the original asking price. However, Grace Monroe does maintain the right of first refusal to eventually purchase the property if desired. As of now, the owner’s proposed plans are complementary to ours.