You are here

First United Methodist's Vision Committee and Building Committee studying options for new building

By Alli Walbolt, Ada Icon intern
Last spring the First United Methodist Church building was lost in a tragic fire. It devastated the town of Ada, all surrounding areas, and anyone who heard about it. The question on everyone’s mind now is what will happen next?

The congregation is currently meeting in English Chapel on Ohio Northern’s campus, but working on plans for the building and vision as a whole. Dr. Robert McCurdy is chair of the First United Methodist Church building committee and has been hard at work, along with all the committee members, trying to restore the church.

The church building was insured, so the fair settlement allows the building process to go much smoother. The congregation has has formed two committees, the Vision and Building Committee, in order to make sure the new building is done as quickly and perfectly as possible.

The Vision Committee is in charge of deciding what will be a part of the church. Committee members are trying to incorporate history and tradition, but also have to decide if they want the church to be contemporary or it they want to add things that weren’t traditionally a part of the church.

Also, the committee is working to incorporate the values of the church into the new building.

The Vision Committee is involving students from Ohio Northern as well as the community to get their input and ideas to make the church stronger.

The Building Committee is focusing on the building itself and how they want to construct it.

According to Dr. McCurdy, the committee has been visiting other churches and talking to other pastors to get a feel of them, and find out some things the pastors wish were different or things they like about that building.

Dr. McCurdy says, “We want a worshipful feel.” He explained that going to different churches help them pick up on things, such as functionality and atmosphere. He even describes one church as making people “feel warm all over,” which he sees as a very positive trait that he would want to bring back to The First United Methodist Church.

The Building Committee is currently in the final stages of choosing an architecture firm to help create the building. They will then become the facilitator of the building and help to find a location for it.

Since the building was constructed in the 1890s, there are different regulations, such as zoning, and also power lines that they must account for. Committee members are hoping to keep the same location on Main Street and they are working with the mayor and village manager, who also hope they can keep the same spot.

Dr. McCurdy asks, “How often do you get to step back and start all over?” While he and the congregation were devastated by the tragedy, they seem to understand that it was just a building and they are very positive about moving forward and seeing where God’s plan may take them.
Dr. McCurdy also explains that while they have looked at other sites to build, they know that the sentimental choice would be the same spot and by the end of the year they will know where they are going to go.

He said that, “the timeline may be late next year, early 2014.” This is only an estimate, but they have the “confidence to move forward.”

Dr. McCurdy said that he wants the community to know that the church is listening to community and taking any suggestions or ideas. The committee wants to make sure the new church is as helpful to the community as possible and they want to get as many people involved as they can.