Innovation is central to church design. Every church has unique needs and a differing vision for ministry. A creative approach allows a design/build firm like The McKnight Group to meet those needs, often starting with very different challenges. One such remarkable story unfolds at a 100-year-old Methodist Church that faced a daunting challenge – a crumbling church building with steep repair costs. The solution? Instead of costly repairs, The McKnight Group designed a modern church building addition that still reflected the great traditions of this century-old congregation.

Reviving Tradition and Transforming Space

The first challenge was finding a place for the new church building while keeping the functional parts of the existing one. Fortunately, the answer lay in a piece of land, complete with an open field and parking lot, adjacent to the church’s education center. Here’s a picture of that area as it existed, as well as the new schematic design for the project.

The Old Structure’s Revival

As part of the rebuilding, the old fellowship hall was given a fresh lease on life to make it warmer and more inviting. A café and new men’s and women’s restrooms were added to the church design. Also, a long hallway leading from the parking lot to the rest of the building became a focal point in this transformation, as the picture shows. Its placement created a seamless transition from the new building entrance, making it easy for visitors and congregants alike to find their way.

Incorporating Tradition into the New

Another creative aspect of this church design was the incorporation of elements from the old church building into the new worship space. For example, the stained-glass windows, a hallmark of the original church, were carefully preserved, and included in the new worship space, as this picture shows.

The Result: A Vibrant New Beginning

The transformation of this 100-year-old Methodist Church was extremely dramatic. The old, crumbling building was replaced with a new sanctuary, complete with modern amenities and technology, all while retaining the charm of its historical roots. Other parts of the existing church were updated and made more versatile. This was accomplished without the need for an entirely new structure because of creative design.

If you’re interested in learning more about church design and building, we invite you to join one, or all, of our upcoming i3 webinars. These informative online sessions will provide you with valuable insights and inspiration for your own church building projects.