1st United Methodist Church expansion celebration

Commerce – The First United Methodist Church of Commerce this weekend will celebrate the completion of a major expansion project.

Pastor Lisa Greenwood Wolcott says the expansion will aid in a number of ways, providing a facility large enough for community events, outreach programs and a welcoming gathering area leading into the Sanctuary and Family Life Center.

Ideas for the expansion began several years ago, while construction has been underway for the past year. The $1.2 million project is being paid for through contributions from a local foundation and church and community members.

The Family Life Center (FLC) offers 6,900 square feet of multi-functional space for children and youth gatherings and recreation, all-church or community meals and events, as well as new possibilities for ministry and outreach. The FLC will feature two very large high-definition TV monitors, for use in worship and entertainment activities.

The Gathering Area which will extend the Narthex and Family Life Center or serve as a smaller meal or meeting location. It will serve to provide a larger gathering area to welcome worshipers.

The current Fellowship Hall will be converted into a Youth Center on one side and a Choir Room on the other with the hallway extended through the center. This work is now underway and will be completed soon.

The Drake Parlor, located across from the main office and used for weddings and other special occasions, was built in 2006 as part of this project.

Worship will begin at 10:50 a.m. Sunday in the Sanctuary as the church celebrates new beginnings with the new building and the start of a new school year. Members will pray for teachers and students in the community as the new school year begins. Then all will gather for a barbecue lunch, music, and prayer in the Family Life Center. All are invited to attend.

The project is said to be by far the most ambitious expansion of the First United Methodist Church's facility since the present building opened in 1967.