It was great to gather with you all this past Sunday! My heart was so encouraged by our time together singing, sitting under the preached word, and responding to the Lord’s initiating work. I can’t wait to do it again this Sunday!
During our gathering, I took a few minutes to give a quick financial update (more details here), and share some exciting news about our new building and our Onward campaign! If you didn’t get a chance to catch that update, you can watch it below.
A Final Push to Finish Onward!
By our reports, and since so many of you are new to DCC, over half of our church has not yet had the opportunity to give or pledge towards our new building.
Now that we have a construction permit(!), and before we close out our fiscal year at the end of this month, we want to make a final push to finish our Onward campaign and invite everyone to prayerfully consider pledging toward our future home. We are currently about $450,000 short of our $3.5 million dollar goal.
The more that is pledged or given now, the more we will be able to build out now, and the less we will have to borrow later.
Giving and Pledging
We know that above and beyond financial giving can take careful and prayerful planning, so pledging is a simple way of expressing a future commitment to give to this project over a period of time. Whether that be a one-time, weekly, monthly, or quarterly gift over a year or two, a pledge is a tool that helps us continue planning through each phase of this project wisely.
Pledges can be fulfilled in the future by either directly donating cash or other securities to DCC (company stocks, bonds, mutual funds, etc.).
If you are wondering how you can give or pledge to Onward:
First, you can give directly to the DCC Giving fund. Any giving above and beyond our budgeted need for this fiscal year (ending June 30th) will go towards our new building.
Second, you can go to the Onward page on our website or use the button below to submit a pledge. Again, every dollar pledged to be given in the future, will be one less dollar we need to borrow.
Would you consider partnering with us for the sake of the gospel in Seattle and to help see us get into our new home?
Clearly, we don’t want this final push to be a substitute for your regular, ongoing giving to the general DCC Giving fund (so we can make sure we’re able to pay our staff and monthly bills), but we do know that many of us have opportunities throughout the year (through extra income, company stock vestments, and the like) to give above and beyond.
A Brief Project Narrative
If you are new to our church, in 2010 we planted Downtown Cornerstone Church as a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving, Gospel-centered church in the heart of downtown Seattle. Since then, we have prayed for an opportunity to purchase a permanent building that would serve as a gospel outpost and a beacon of hope in our city for generations to come. A place in which we could worship God, proclaim the gospel, make disciples, train leaders, build meaningful relationships, plant churches, and love our city to life.
By God's grace, it is becoming a reality! On December 14th, 2020, we purchased a roughly 24,000 square foot building in the heart of Belltown, just a handful of blocks from where we currently meet. This building was built in 1946 and served as a labor union hall for decades. However, due to the age of the building, it's going to require a complete gut and remodel. This includes everything from seismic retrofitting, to sprinklers, new roof, plumbing, mechanical, electrical, and more.
Once complete, the building will seat approximately 700 people in the sanctuary, provide classrooms for children and adult education, an office level for staff and counseling, and plenty of spaces for our church to worship Jesus and help make disciples.
When we did our due diligence on the building in February 2020 before purchasing it, the renovation estimates came in at about five to six million dollars. However, because of Covid-19, inflation, and the skyrocketing prices of commodities and construction in Seattle over the last two and a half years, our renovation costs have practically doubled to about ten million dollars.
Over the last decade, and by God’s grace, our church has been able to save enough money to cover the downpayment of the property ($3 million), and to date, set aside and raise an additional $5 million towards needed renovations. Although we’ve come up with a plan for phasing the project and also secured an additional three million dollar construction loan to help fill some of this gap, we are still about two million dollars short. There is enough equity in the property that the bank is willing to lend us more money, but it’s our preference not to borrow any more than we need to. Hence this final push.
By God’s grace, we received our construction permit and are finalizing preconstruction details with the city in preparation to sign a contract with our General Contractor to get going as soon as possible. Lord-willing, our hope is that we’d be able to start construction in August.
If you have yet to see the plans and renderings of the project, you can view them here!
DCC, I am looking forward to seeing how the Lord is going to continue showing up, and can’t wait to worship in our new home together with you all!
For the Gospel in Seattle,
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us at .
I hope this finds you on the cusp of a restful and life-giving Thanksgiving weekend. We have much to be thankful for, in Jesus. “I thank God…as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day” (2 Tim. 1:3).
The purpose of this brief pre-holiday note is to ensure we are all up-to-speed on the next phase of our plan to fuel the mission of our church, while simultaneously funding our future building, which we announced this past Sunday.
If you’re unfamiliar with our new building, you can learn more about it here.
Jesus has been incredibly faithful to us. Over the last eleven months, we have raised $2.5 million to prepare our future building as a gospel outpost for, Lord willing, generations to come. Thank you to all who have generously given to this work. Our progress is incredible, especially amidst a once-a-century pandemic marked by social distancing, lock-downs, inflation, and ample uncertainty.
Of course, at the same time, we need to fuel our ongoing mission through our general giving. The everyday work of making disciples, gathering for worship, spreading the gospel, developing leaders, meeting needs, equipping the saints, hosting training events, and counseling doesn’t stop for anything, let alone a building project.
This dual dynamic—holding a building campaign while keeping up general giving—is a challenge for every church that I know of, including our own. We’re currently behind on both accounts.
Therefore, as of December 1st, we’re going to simplify our strategy by directing all financial gifts to our main DCC giving channel. So, whether you wish to fuel our present mission (via our general fund) or help fulfill our future mission (via our building), we will direct you to a single “DCC Giving” fund.
The reason for this is to ensure our current everyday budgetary needs are met. Then, any giving over these needs will be put toward the building. For example, if we raise an additional $150,000 beyond our budgeted needs in December, that will be put toward our building. If we raise an additional $50,000 beyond our budgeted needs in January, that too will be put toward our building. And so on.
Put simply, this means ALL of our giving will now go towards supporting BOTH needs at the same time. So, we won’t have to decide where to direct our giving, because all of it will, in effect, now be going toward both. Again, this will take effect December 1st.
“What if I still want to designate a gift toward the building?”
You have until Tuesday, November 30th, to do so—which providentially happens to be Giving Tuesday! After that point, please reach out to us directly at . Again, our goal is to meet our everyday disciple-making needs, so our preference is for individuals to give via our main DCC giving channel, but we understand (and anticipate) exceptions to this.
“What if I still have a giving pledge to fulfill?”
No problem! You can continue to fulfill the remainder of your pledge via a separate giving link that will be emailed to you by December 1st.
“Why are we doing this?"
Per above, by God’s grace, we’ve raised $2.5 million to help cover constructions costs for our new building. This is tremendous, even though we’re short of our overall target. We can get the construction started with that in place. Therefore, it is a fitting time to shift into phase two to ensure our everyday mission is adequately fueled (i.e. general fund).
“How much do we have left to raise for construction?”
We are seeking to raise an additional $1 million (mainly due to inflated costs over the past year).
“Is this even possible?”
With God on our side, all things are possible (Mt. 19:26; Mk. 9:23).
“When do we hope to get into our building?”
Our hope is to get in by next Christmas ‘22, perhaps earlier. Let’s pray!
“Is it rare for a center city church to have its own building?”
Extremely rare, especially in Seattle, and a sure sign of Jesus’ kindness toward us.
May the God of heaven continue to give us hope, peace, and joy, especially amidst these divided times, and allow the kingdom of his Son to be powerfully advanced in our hearts, and for his unsearchable riches to not be hidden from our eyes. Yes, Lord! He is able.
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.
If you have additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at .
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?
If you are a trade worker or know of another believer who is interested in donating their time and/or materials, please email .
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.
On Sunday, February 28th, we held a Prayer & Vision Night from the new building!
We kicked off the night with a short testimony from Kelly Robertson, DCC member and staff, about what God has done in her own life through DCC. We sang and praised God for his goodness and providence. Pastor Adam also shared some more about our vision for the new building. We then spent the rest of our time praying with DCC elders and asking the Lord to go before us as we labor to ready the building as our permanent gospel outpost.
If you missed this event, below are a couple of videos from our time together! We encourage you to watch these, as you are able, to learn more about the story Jesus is unfolding through us.
This Sunday, February 21st, and next Sunday, February 28th, from 12–2 PM, we’ll be hosting two open houses of our new building. This will be an opportunity to tour the building, get a sneak peek at some of the proposed plans, and ask any questions you may have for us!
Each tour will be approximately 30 minutes long with groups of 25 or less, which will allow everyone to remain safely distanced. In order to abide by ongoing health guidelines, we ask that you pre-register for a time slot using the links below.
Save the date! In addition to our open houses, we’ll also be pulling together on Sunday evening, February 28th, at 5PM for a special virtual Prayer & Vision Night.
This time will be led from the new building via Zoom, and will be a chance to sing, pray, hear more of the story behind the Lord’s provision of this building, and rejoice in all the ways the Lord is continuing to go before us as a church for the onward spread of the gospel in this city.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at .
By now you’ve heard that, by God's grace and kindness, we bought a building in Belltown! A permanent home is another step towards fulfilling our vision of becoming a faithful gospel presence in our city for, Lord willing, generations to come.
Therefore, we created this short video to share more about the building and how you can participate to see it renovated as our future gospel outpost.
As you can imagine, buying and renovating a building in downtown Seattle is quite expensive. While we are certain that God is going before us in this unique opportunity, it will require all of us to participate financially for it to become a reality.
Whether your contribution is an end-of-year gift or a monthly pledge, a sacrifice of your monthly coffee budget line or a donation of stock, it all goes towards achieving the end of preparing this building as a future stage for God’s unfolding story in our beloved city. Just imagine the lives that will be changed through our collective sacrifice and generosity!
If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact our team at .
The King has come and is coming again,
Our God is “able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask, think or imagine” (Eph. 3:20). Our church is living proof of that. But, it is easy to take for granted until you step back and consider what God has done.
Together we have spent a decade laboring to plant a vibrant Jesus-centered, Bible-saturated, gospel-proclaiming, people-loving church in the heart of our beloved city. Astonishingly, God has grown an eight person planting team into one of the largest churches in Seattle.
We have seen the gospel spread, the Scripture savored, prayers answered, lives changed, souls saved, saints sanctified, the nominal awakened, sin repented of, relationships reconciled, hurt healed, shame conquered, hope restored, gifts deployed, communities multiplied, missionaries sent, churches planted, relationships forged, couples married, babies born, pandemics endured, and disciples made in one of the least churched, most post-Christian cities in the US. That’s just scratching the surface.
We’ve gathered in apartments, coffee shops, rooftops, parks, community centers, living rooms, foyers, movie theaters, and (most recently) a former dance club as we’ve sought to love our city to life, from the avenues to the alleyways. Throughout, we have searched for a permanent home but have come up short every time—until now.
I am incredibly excited, and profoundly grateful, to share that our gracious God has given us an opportunity to purchase a building in the most densely populated neighborhood of our city (Belltown)—amidst one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.
This is an opportunity for us to have a permanent outpost for proclaiming the gospel, making disciples, planting churches, training leaders, and loving our city for generations to come. It’s a miracle.
God uses people, but always people in actual places, like arks, prison cells, tents, deserts, whale bellies, shipwrecks, and stables. Places are not neutral. Our every day places are miniature stages where Jesus’ story continues to unfold in ways big and small. So, think of this building as a stage for God's unfolding story.
A permanent home in the heart of our city is another step towards fulfilling our vision of becoming a faithful gospel presence for, Lord willing, generations to come. We will have a larger sanctuary, a more versatile children’s space, more classrooms for ongoing discipleship, more space for counseling, greater ability to serve our neighbors, and even a covered parking lot, all under the shadow of the Space Needle.
Therefore, we have created the Onward campaign as a tool to share more about this unbelievable opportunity and invite you to partner with us in prayerful giving to see this building renovated for, Lord willing, generations of gospel ministry. You can learn more here.
Will you join us in establishing a permanent outpost for the gospel in the heart of our beloved city?