Capital Campaign FAQs

Financials and Statistics

What is the current membership of AFUMC expressed in total individuals and total families?

As of August 25, 2015, the current membership of Alpharetta Methodist is 5,264 professing members. There are 2,490 families who have at least one professing member in the family. Families that have contributed to AFUMC in the last 12-18 months is approximately 1,600.

What is the number of pledging units for AFUMC’s 2015 annual budget?

As mentioned, the number of giving units is approximately 1,600. Actual pledges received in 2015 are 492 as of August 25, 2015.

How much is membership projected to grow over the next 3-5 years?

December 2016 Update:

Originally, in response to a question on Membership, it was reported that the growth has been approximately 4.2%. In the past 3 months, a membership audit was completed and many members were removed in this process, resulting in the current number (as of November 2016) of 5217 members. So, our membership at AFUMC is basically flat. Although we average close to 200 new members per year, we also lose members who pass away, move out of the area, etc. It is also important to note that the need to upgrade the facilities has little to do with the total members of AFUMC and much more to do with the need to fix facility issues that do not allow us to easily welcome the next guest, reach the next generation and reach the next level of discipleship. Especially with the growth projections of our community, we have a significant opportunity to welcome new families into a facility that is completely handicap accessible with dedicated space for children, upgraded space for students and improved space for adult classes.


What is the current level of outstanding long-term mortgage debt?

As of July 31, 2015, our current long-term debt is $2,771,219.

Is the cost for architectural services included in the total project budget, or has a portion of that already been expensed?

The cost of architectural services is included in the total project cost. A small portion of the fee has been expensed for the master plan and architectural renderings used in the capital campaign.

What are the terms of the current debt and number of current loans? When is each scheduled to be paid off?

We have one loan that was refinanced/extended in August 2013. (Original loan was August 2011). The loan is a 3.95% that terms in August 2021. It is a 120 month loan with a 20-year amortization. The current monthly payment of $21,000 is approximately 7% of overall annual expenses.

What is the specific goal to be raised through the capital campaign?

The financial goal of the campaign is to raise $10 million dollars. Current estimates show that this is approximately what will be required to complete all of the proposed renovations. The main goal, however, is always to win men and women, boys and girls, to Jesus Christ.

How much money has been committed to date?

We have received $93,700 and spent $35,600 of it on expenses. These are uncommitted gifts from the last year and a half. There are no pledges yet.

What is our current square footage (all space)? How much will we demolish? How much will we add? What is the net gain? How many additional square feet will we have (overall)?

Our current existing building area is 96,053 square feet. The area proposed to be demolished is 11,223 square feet. New construction is 42,526 square feet. Our total space after demolition and new construction will be 127,356 square feet, a net added building area of 31,303 square feet.

How many adult classrooms are we adding?

We currently have 15 adult classrooms. The building project will add six, for a new total of 21. Current existing area for adult classrooms is 6,024 square feet. The proposed construction will add 5,716 square feet, for a total of 11,740 square feet of dedicated adult classroom space.

How many new children’s, preschool and preteen rooms will the building provide?

We have 21 existing rooms used by preschool and elementary students and preteens. These rooms are also shared with adult ministries. The building proposal will add three additional classrooms, for a total of 24. The existing area for children’s space is 11,746 square feet. Construction will add 1,406 square feet, for a total of 13,152 square feet of space dedicated specifically for children, preschool and preteen ministries. This does not include the new children’s auditorium.

How much additional gathering space will we have?

Currently, we have four gathering spaces totaling 4,378 square feet. The proposed construction will double that amount to eight gathering spaces, adding 9,875 square feet. The total area for gathering spaces will be 14,253 square feet.

How much additional youth space will we have?

The Methodist Youth Center currently has three classrooms. With renovation and construction, seven classrooms will be added to the MYC, for a total of 10. The existing classrooms will be reconfigured to add three additional rooms. Four more classrooms will be added when the existing portico area is closed in. The existing area for classrooms in the MYC is 6,026 square feet. The proposed area is 8,169 square feet, a difference of 2,143 square feet, not including deck spaces.


What is the process for making the decision to build?

As a United Methodist Church, the process is clearly defined. Building project recommendations will be made by an elected Building Committee. These recommendations will be reviewed by the Trustees, Finance Committee, Council on Ministries and Church Council and, upon approval, must be presented to and approved by the Atlanta-Roswell District Building Committee and the City of Alpharetta. Once approved, the plans will be brought to the entire Church Conference for final approval.

What if the total projected goal of the campaign is not raised? Who makes the decision to secure loans for the difference? Does “The Methodist Book of Discipline” give policy guidelines on the issue?

Once we gain the commitments, the Church Council is the governing body which makes the decision on the plan forward. The Building Committee, along with the Finance Committee, takes action based upon decisions made at the Church Council. In most situations like this, a Church Conference (every member is invited) is called to present the financials against the planned project. Any decision on additional debt must be approved through a Charge Conference or Church Conference vote. “The Methodist Book of Discipline” is clear on the Church Council as the governing body for these types of decisions. Additionally, the UMC Atlanta-Roswell District Committee on Building must offer its approval.

How much money do we have to raise to go forward? Who makes that decision? Has a decision been made?

No decision has or will be made until the Church Council considers recommendations from multiple teams (Capital Campaign, Building Committee, Trustees, Finance Committee and Council on Ministries). The process for making this decision will involve a number of factors that at this time are unknown to us.

If the project does not go forward, what happens with monies already raised?

The decision to move forward with a facility upgrade has been a result of not simply months, but years, of discussion and planning. In this process, there have been significant verbal commitments. Only God knows how much we will raise in total, but if the goal is not reached, the Church Council, along with the Building Committee, will have to decide what portion of the plan will be done. In other words, we will move forward with either the entire project or some portion of the project.

What is the duration of construction if the total scope of the project is approved and pledged?

As soon as the project is approved by the church and a Building Committee established, work will begin with CDH Partners and church ministry teams to develop detailed drawings, determine the method of construction, identify and select contractors, work with city officials to approve and permit the project, and break ground. CDH Partners and the general contractor we choose will help answer this question. How much we build will, of course, be a major factor.


Will new construction accommodate projected growth and for how long?

New construction will enable us to address strategic initiatives of providing more gathering space to welcome guests; provide secure space for children, including a dedicated assembly space for children’s worship; and significantly improved, additional space for adult classrooms. Additional adult classrooms will enable all adults to meet inside the building in classrooms designed for and dedicated to adults. In addition, the building will drastically improve accessibility, with new staff offices that will house all staff (except music staff) in one central location. Based upon what we know today, the expansion should accommodate growth for the foreseeable future.

Over how many years will the campaign pledge commitment be made—three to five years?

Our campaign is a three year campaign. We are asking our members to pledge whatever they can, and for many people stretching it out over three years is the best plan. However, some can and will give their entire pledge in the first year. This is simply up to the member.

Can the project be constructed in phases, and what would constitute each phase?

Yes, we can phase the building project. If necessary, construction will be phased based on ministry priorities and the most cost-effective use of available funds.

What is the impact of construction on ministry spaces?

When we know the timing of construction, we will be in a better position to address this challenge. We will do everything possible to mitigate disruption to ministry spaces, but we do anticipate some temporary movement of classrooms, offices and other spaces during construction.

What is the impact of the widening of Main Street? Do we know when the widening of Main Street will commence?

We have met with the city and have made contact with the Department of Transportation. If approved, the DOT will construct 12-foot sidewalks on Main Street in front of the church. This will likely require relocation of our church sign as well as relocation of the historical marker in front of the Vinebranch Chapel. Anticipating this possibility, we designed the front of the new Main Street Building with patio seating overlooking more green space. Timing is unknown at this point.

How much frontage will we lose on Main Street from Department of Transportation plans?

If the DOT plans go through, we will lose about 15 feet on Main Street.

What will be the impact of construction on weekday programs such as Mother’s Morning Out and Preschool?

Our Preschool and MMO programs provide wonderful ministries to children and great outreach to our community. We will do everything we can to keep these programs running at full throttle. At the most, we don’t anticipate construction limiting the size and scope of these programs for more than one school year, and these programs may need to be relocated during this period.

What will be the impact of construction on Sunday church services, Sunday School and childcare?

During construction, there will certainly need to be some occasional adjustments made. We will work with the builders to make this impact as small as possible; nevertheless, there will be times when we will have to hold a few programs in alternate settings. Currently, we do not anticipate the need to move our Sunday services off site. We will make arrangements, as necessary, to provide space for a full array of ministries for all ages. The biggest challenge may be parking, and we are already looking at alternate parking locations with shuttle service.

Are there modifications to the Methodist Youth Center other than the connecting covered walkway?

Absolutely! We will add significant indoor and outdoor space for the Youth Ministry. The interior of the MYC will be renovated and classrooms added. The portico will be enclosed, adding four new classrooms and a new welcome area. Expanded restrooms are also in the plan.

The Main Street elevation of the building will be refreshed with additional windows and fewer doors.

A back deck will be added to allow for more gathering space. The awkward outdoor space in the middle of the building that is currently unusable is being transformed into a deck that can be accessed from inside. A new covered walkway will connect the MYC to the Main Street building. The walkway will eliminate the current drive between the MYC and Vinebranch Chapel, but there are adequate entrances and exits to all parking areas.

Is the children’s area going to be secure?

Absolutely! This is an essential a goal for us. All of the space for nursery, preschool age, and elementary age children is within one secure area on the first floor. The only exception to this is that we have provided two classrooms on the second floor for our fourth and fifth grade students (preteens).

How many children will fit in the new children’s theatre?

The building code requires seven feet per person, which means we can have 200 people in the theater. Since the code is based on adults, this will give a lot of space for 200 children to enjoy.

How will the new space help expand and accommodate the Special Needs Program?

The new space for Children’s Ministry includes a sensory room for children with special needs. Having this special environment will bring comfort to both the children and their parents.

Is the new space handicap accessible?

Absolutely! This plan will actually dramatically eliminate the issues with multiple stairways in the building where staff and many adult classrooms are located. Now all floors are accessible via elevators or at street level, and the walk between the main Sanctuary and the Vinebranch Chapel is on the same level with only a slight grade.

It appears that the Main Street parking lot is going away. Where will seniors and those with handicaps park?

The most convenient parking spaces accessible to the new entrance will become handicap parking. We hope to maintain a few handicap parking spaces in front of the Main Street sanctuary entrance.

Why didn’t we create one large gathering space?

We conducted studies to see how people flow in and out of our building. The number one entry point is into the east narthex entrance from the Cumming Street parking lot, and the second is the hallway between the kitchen and Trinity Hall. We have planned large areas (2,500-2,900 square feet) for the lower level Cumming Street entrance (children’s check-in area), second floor landing area (the new east narthex entry way) and in the welcome center area and third floor area, as well. This will give us four larger areas for natural flow and gathering spaces for small groups and ministry events. In addition, our fellowship hall in Trinity Hall will now be available for use on Sunday morning.

With the new space, will we still have trailers on campus?

The trailers currently located outside of Trinity Hall will be removed with the new construction. Staff, Sunday School classes and storage currently housed in these trailers will all be given space in the building.

The trailers will probably be needed during construction for temporary classrooms, office space and storage. When the project is complete, our goal is to remove most, if not all, of the trailers. The future need for trailers will be determined by the pace of our growth.

Need more information?

If you have additional questions, please contact Capital Campaign Information Committee Chairperson Steve Sockler.