Our New Building: FAQs (Design, Finances, Pledging, and More!)
Onward Building Campaign | by Pastor David Parker
Over the last several weeks, many of you have asked some great questions about our new building and the Onward campaign. We wrote this FAQ to help answer those questions, and to serve as a helpful resource as you seek to learn more and consider ways you can participate with us in this campaign.
If you weren’t able to join us for our open houses, you can view some of our preliminary design boards here.
For the King,
The Onward Campaign
How much money are we seeking to raise through Onward?
We are seeking to raise $2,500,000 to help cover needed funds for renovations. These dollars will go towards the demolition of most of the existing structure, new mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, seismic retrofitting, building a 700-seat auditorium, building out new classrooms and offices, a new children’s ministry space, and much more!
How much money has already been given?
As of today, almost $1,000,000 has already been given towards the campaign by 132 donors. We are praising the Lord, that we’re over a third of the way to our goal, and praying that he would continue to provide for our every need!
How can I contribute towards the Onward campaign?
You can contribute by giving, pledging, and praying. All giving is tax-deductible and can be done online, via mail, or during Sunday gatherings. You can also give non-cash assets like stock or mutual funds to minimize your tax burden.
In addition, pledging is a distinctly helpful way to contribute by telling us how much you plan on giving over the course of a year.
What is pledging?
Pledging allows you to tell us how much you plan on giving to the Onward campaign over the course of a particular time period (i.e. a year). You can pledge to give weekly, monthly, or quarterly, or tell us your own unique plan to give. Pledging also gives our team a better idea of how much money we will realistically raise and when we can expect that money to come in, so we can plan accordingly.
For example, if the following pledges came in, we’d reach the remainder of our goal!
If you would like to pledge to give towards our Onward campaign, you can do so here!
Can we do a fundraiser or are there other creative ways we could raise more money?
While we’re not opposed to doing a fundraiser, planning and executing those kinds of events can take lots of time. However, our government has given us a unique opportunity for many of us to pass along unneeded stimulus checks to help fund our new building!
For example, if 325 family units donated their unneeded March 2021 Covid-19 relief checks, we’d be able to raise an additional $700,000 dollars:
Should my regular giving to the general fund go instead to the Onward campaign?
One of the unique challenges of a building project is that our normal everyday expenses as a church continue (building lease, operations, technology, staffing, discipleship materials, church planting, benevolence, etc.). Therefore, as you consider partnering with us in this campaign, we encourage you to think of your contributions as “above and beyond” your normal giving, and not have it replace your general fund giving.
I don’t have much money. How can smaller donations help?
In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus taught us that the poor widow’s offering was greater than the large offerings of the wealthy (Mark 12:41-44). God’s kingdom is advanced by all of his people joyfully stewarding whatever God has given them. That means there is no insignificant gift! Even a gift that covers the cost of one chair ($125), will still create an opportunity for literally hundreds if not thousands of people to sit in that chair and hear the gospel for years to come.
How long has DCC been looking for a building?
We have been prayerfully saving for a building since we planted our church over a decade ago, and actively looking for a more permanent space for the past 5 years. There were countless obstacles and seasons of discouragement, but the Lord has been faithful to us every step of the way. For a church to be able to buy a building like this in one of the hottest real estate markets in the country is nothing short of a miracle.
What were DCC’s priorities during the search?
We wanted to find a building in or near the downtown core of Seattle, which has always been the geographical heart of DCC’s mission. We looked for a space that was or could be coded for assembly, have ample parking nearby, and allow us to gather several hundred people at a time. By God’s grace, it looks like this new space will meet all those requirements and more!
What’s our new building like?
Our new building is a 3-story, 26,000 square foot building with a brick facade, built in the 1940’s in an Art-Deco style. It has a large main floor where we will gather for worship, classes, and fellowship. The main floor also has enough space where we will be able to worship together in one gathering! It is also spacious enough to host events and conferences to advance the gospel in Seattle. The upper and lower floors provide great space for our children’s ministry, counseling meetings, and offices.
If you’d like to see more layouts and floor plans we’ve been working on, click here.
Where is it located?
The building is in Belltown at 2828 1st Ave, right between the Space Needle and Olympic Sculpture Park. Our new location is very walkable with parks, the waterfront, coffee shops, and restaurants all within a few blocks. It’s also more accessible from the freeway and has ample parking. With views looking out to the Space Needle and Elliot Bay, we pray this will be a place where the gospel goes forth to every corner of Seattle.
Why does the building need to be renovated?
Although the building was an old union hall, it is in significant need of renovation to not only bring it up to code (e.g. fire sprinklers, energy codes, seismic retrofitting, etc.), but to also prepare it for our unique purposes.
Who is leading the renovations?
A small DCC team, along with Risepointe Architects are leading this project. Risepointe is made up of brothers and sisters in Christ who specialize in designing churches and we are excited to be partnered with them as they work to understand the unique culture and needs of our church.
What are our priorities with the renovation?
We have sought to make the priorities of our building renovation consistent with the priorities of our mission as a church. To that end, we have prioritized gathering as one body to hear the Word of God proclaimed in preaching and worship together, additional gathering and classroom spaces, places to connect and converse as a body, creating a welcoming and secure children’s area, and added space for pastoral care and counseling. In short, we want to leverage this building to be maximized for making disciples!
Will we be saving costs by doing the work ourselves?
While there might be some aspects of the renovations we’ll be inviting the church to participate in (who doesn’t like to tear down some walls?!), we plan to contract out the bulk of the work. This is due to the fact that our church is not filled with lots of trade workers, and we also have a tight timeline that we are hoping to hit before our current lease is up. However, as projects come up that would make sense to invite the congregation into, we’ll be sure to let you know!
What if I know someone that might be interested in helping DCC get into their new building?
Will the new building have parking?
Yes, with the purchase of the building, we were fortunate to also receive a 102-stall parking garage just a block west. In addition, we are coordinating with other parking lots close to the building to allow for ample parking on Sunday mornings.
What about the kids?
We are excited about how our new building will serve our children and families. The children’s floor will be a secure space with a nursery, five classrooms and a large group worship space. Additionally, we will have a much larger and more comfortable nursing mom’s room on the main floor, and a “family room” next to the auditorium where parents can take children who are learning to participate in the larger gathering.
How will the new building contribute to Downtown Cornerstone’s mission?
As a church, our mission remains the same; “To know Jesus and to make Him known for the glory of God and the joy of all people.” That means we want to gather in a space that can equip us to proclaim the good news of Jesus and form us into a gospel-spreading, God-glorifying, joy-filled church. To that end, it’s our prayer that the Lord would use this space to train up thousands of men and women, who will then take the gospel across the street to their neighbor and around the world, for generations to come. If you have yet to watch our short video and read about our full vision for this space, you can do that here.
Will we be able to start a food pantry?
Our approach to mercy ministries is one of partnership with gospel-motivated non-profits, which may change over the years, but are all centered on care for the most vulnerable populations (read more about our mercy efforts and current partners here). Strategically, we believe the local church is called first and foremost to the great commission, making disciples and equipping the saints for the work of ministry, which we expect to lead to changed hearts and lives lived in service to others as a response to God’s love (read more about this in this series of posts)
What is the cost of the building and renovations?
The building, along with a 102-stall parking garage, cost us $10,650,000 to purchase. We estimate renovations will cost close to $5,000,000, not including softs costs (taxes, permitting, engineering fees, fixtures, equipment, etc.)
How will the building be paid for?
By God’s grace and the generosity within our DCC family, we’ve been able to set aside over $5,000,000 towards the building purchase and renovation costs. Additionally, we’ve received a loan for $7,550,000. This leaves us with about $2,500,000 that we are looking to raise through our Onward Campaign. You can help us reach that goal by pledging or giving here.
What if the renovation costs go higher than we anticipate?
Although we are hoping that we would not need to borrow any more money, we are still learning details about the building that may change the scope of work required. The bank has tentatively approved us to borrow up to $3,000,000 more dollars if additional funds are needed to complete the renovations.
How are we being good stewards of the resources God has given us?
From the day we began searching for a building, to the hiring of a design team when we found the building, we have sought to keep costs low while keeping DCC’s mission at the forefront. Because of that, we’re doing everything from getting multiple bids for construction services, to hiring a disbursing agent to make sure all funds are adequately accounted for. In all that we do, we not only want to be above board, but also want to ensure that what we spend money on ultimately helps further Jesus’ mission.