A Word, or two, from the New Church Building Team:
The New Church Building Team (NCBT) has been working for a number of months now to select a firm to
work with SDBC on developing a Master Plan.
The Master Plan will be a document showing how SDBC will construct facilities to meet our program needs for
years to come. It will include a design for Phase 1 which will meet our immediate and near term program needs
as we move from our current facility to the property on the hill. See the attached article for more on this subject.
As the NCBT interviewed the various firms, it was apparent that there was a wide divergence of opinions
among the team members. As you might expect in a Baptist congregation, if you have seven people in a room,
you might have eight different opinions. You may recall that we asked the Church to pray for us that we might
have discernment as we worked through this process.
There must be some powerful prayer warriors in our Church because the prayers were answered!
As we met to start the process of determining which architect to help us with the Master Plan, we anticipated a
number of meetings with perhaps spirited discussion. Instead, the Spirit moved among us and within 15
minutes it was obvious that the team was united and of one accord in which firm to select. The only discussion
we had was the next 30 minutes when we were questioning ourselves to be sure that we really had arrived at a
decision. It had seemed too easy, but we should not have doubted, nothing is too difficult for our God.
The NCBT has selected Jim DePasquale of DePasquale Delph Gentilhomme Group ? Architects in
Richmond. This firm has specialized in church architecture since 1976. They provide affordable yet distinctive
design solutions for the full spectrum of church needs. Jim’s clients include over 100 churches in all major
denominations. You can learn more by visiting Jim’s web site at: www.dggrouparchitects.com
Jim’s firm was not the least expensive but the NCBT feels that we have been led by the Spirit to this decision.
One of the team summed up our view of Jim Depasquale by stating that “His heart is in this project.” We want
nothing less and cannot expect anything more.
In the weeks ahead, we will be coming to the congregation for authorization to contract with Jim’s firm. We
will also ask for authority to expend funds for this contract and for other expenditures that we may expect in the
months ahead. This will be an investment in our future.
The first step in the process will involve workshops which Jim will lead with the NCBT and others in the
church who are involved in various program areas. There will also be a town hall type meeting to get input
from the whole congregation.
Jim will take input from the above meetings and start the process of developing the Master Plan and ultimately a
schematic design for our new facilities.
Please continue to pray for wisdom for all involved and be prayerfully considering how you will support this
effort as it moves forward.
The Team: Christi Almarode, Connie Lotts, Danny Johnson, Dustin Corbin, Rick Sakshaug, Tina Blacka, George Burritt
Master plan components By Jim DePasquale
Extracted from an Article in the Religious Herald July 1, 2011
A comprehensive depiction of master plan components, as they relate to the site and buildings, will typically
• Parcel configuration. This will not only show the boundaries of your site, but also all other properties that
your church may need to acquire to accomplish its ultimate goals.
• Layout. In the layout, site functions and facilities such as parking, drives and all existing and future buildings
are included. Additionally, it includes outdoor structures, pavilions, amphitheaters, prayer trails, walkways,
gardens and courtyards. Play areas and recreation fields should also be indicated, along with areas servicing
environmental regulations. Proposed landscape design, along with preservation zones for existing vegetation,
round out the layout components.
• Circulation of traffic. Automobile drives noted above should relate to the ingress/egress points of the site, as
well as proper and safe drop-off of passengers –beneath covered areas if proposed. Routing in a counterclockwise
direction allows for passenger side drop-off. Other vehicular circulation patterns, related to service
areas and fire protection, are also indicated. Of equal importance is pedestrian traffic circulating throughout the
site. At a minimum, the master plan should designate well delineated paths of travel from parking lots to the
main entrance – with sensitively designed landscaping and hardscaping solutions that provide a clear, userfriendly
axis of movement. If church-goers can be engaged with the natural beauty and qualities of the site, so
much the better.
• Topography. No site is literally flat. Although the master plan drawings you receive from your architect will
be two-dimensional, remember that there are highs and low places associated with the property. Certain threedimensional
actions are taking place within your master plan, whether it is grade changes that impact
handicapped-access because of steps, or it is the poetic sculpturing of the property as an aesthetic tool for
buffering views of parking lots. And of course there are those natural opportunities such as amphitheaters along
slopes facing east or the potential to create a structure that is partially below grade, working with (rather than
fighting against) the natural economies of the land. The lesson here is that you will need to comprehend the
vertical movement of your master plan.
• Phasing. Improvements as critical components of any master plan require pacing and phasing. Beginning
with the site itself, there is the component of circulation that could include future drives and roadways.
Additional parking, of course, could come along with the proposed growth. And the most obvious; -the staged
expansion of the buildings themselves is a fundamental concept of a well thought-out master plan. Phasing is,
furthermore, influenced by budget, land availability, logic and the specific priorities of each church. In the end,
logical, orderly growth must govern rather than a haphazard hodgepodge of additions that resemble a train