The Future of the Main St. Building

  • By Dr. Don Martin
  • Senior Pastor
  • April 17, 2015
It's time to change the buildings that enable us to be Alpharetta First United Methodist Church. We need to tear one building down. The Main Street building has served this church and community well, but it needs to be torn down. It sits between our beautiful traditional sanctuary and the renovated Vinebranch Chapel. The Main Street building makes navigating all our buildings confusing and difficult. It's not easy to figure out where you are or how to exit or find a specific room. This building has several sets of stairs, which makes it impossible for anyone with a handicapping condition to enter. Do we really want to say to these neighbors of ours that they are not welcome here? And the curb appeal of the Main Street building is low. We are wonderfully located in downtown Alpharetta, which gives us a great opportunity to put our best foot forward with a building that would catch and please the eye of the thousands who drive by every day. The Main Street building looks like our front door, but it's really not our front door, except on Monday-Friday because the reception area is located there. This is where the UPS guy delivers our packages and where several offices, including our clergy, can be found. The area is not attractive and functions poorly. There is no place to easily access the bathrooms in Main Street building, and most people do have to use the restroom even at church. The restrooms are cramped and dated and ill-suited to this day and time. The reception area is really just a hallway with a few chairs. The waiting area of our local veterinarian is a better space. Most of us have become accustomed to it the same way the nose gets accustomed to the manure smell in a barn. We hardly notice it, while the new nose knows exactly where it is. We will tear the Main Street building down. We will build on the same ground a multi-story building with an elevator that makes it accessible to all. The entry will be at ground level. We will create new rooms where adults can gather in groups and Sunday school classes.  We will learn how to live as disciples of Christ in this space. One floor will have offices for your staff and clergy. The building will have a strong curb appeal that will catch the eye and maybe stir the interest of someone who is considering a visit to our church. The front parking lot will likely be gone, which is a good thing, because the front door of the church will be on the Cumming Street side of our property. I'll tell you about that area next week.