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Building for the Future FAQs

Building for the Future FAQs

South Highland Family,

As our upcoming building repair project and supporting capital campaign continue to progress, we thought it would be helpful to share with you some answers to questions that came up during the feasibility study earlier this year. It is our hope that this “FAQ” communication will help clarify the motivation and thought processes of your church leadership during this time. As always, we are happy to receive further comments and questions as this process continues.

Your Campaign Chairs

Joey Miller, Fran and John Morris

Click here for a note about funding for the initial phase of the building project.

1. Why are we proceeding with a Capital Campaign in the midst of our transition to a new Senior Pastor? The projects proposed in the current plan are urgent and need to be addressed. Our Senior Pastor has agreed to assist the church with this capital campaign during his remaining months with the church. His experience with our previous campaign will be very helpful to the process. Also, it may be several months before we have a new Senior Pastor in place. Our new Senior Pastor will need to spend the first several months getting to know us and building relationships. Having this campaign completed and the projects in-the-works will be a significant gift to our new Senior Pastor and convey a spirit of community at SHPC.

2. Do we have a plan for the long-term maintenance of our facility? In our view, this needs to be included in every budget moving forward. The long-term upkeep of our facility is critical to our ability to support our ministries. The Session has identified areas of the building that need or will need work over the next three to ten years. It is intended that our budgets going forward will include a maintenance reserve to support these projects. This will be included in every budget moving forward.

3. Do we have enough money in reserves to ensure the long-term upkeep of our buildings?

  • There is money in the SHPC Foundation; the amount needs to be increased.
  • Currently there is $100,000 in the SHPC Foundation that provides some resources for building maintenance annually. However, the current amount is insufficient for ongoing facility maintenance.

4. Are the projects included in the capital campaign plan high priority? Stopping the water damage, roof leaks and repairing/glazing the windows is the highest priority; painting would be the next.

5. We have struggled with annual giving over the past few years. Shouldn’t we wait until our annual giving has increased to meet budget? Annual contributions increased from 2019 to 2021. Giving in 2022 was down slightly from previous years. The Building for the Future capital campaign this fall will also highlight the annual ministry budget and encourage members to give prayerful consideration to increasing giving to annual ministry needs. It is anticipated that not everyone can and will make a pledge to the capital campaign, however, we hope to receive a strong response to annual giving for 2024. Having researched our building needs, it has been determined that the issues causing damage (roof leaks and windows needing to be replaced, etc.) will only get worse and cause more damage the longer we go without repairs.

6. I heard we have borrowed from the foundation to begin working on some of the most urgent projects. Do we have to reimburse the foundation as a part of this campaign? The Foundation has funds set aside for stained glass windows and some repairs. We have borrowed $400,000 from available Foundation funds set aside for maintenance. We intend to repay these funds back to the Foundation.

7. Do we plan to give 10% of funds raised to mission outreach? Yes.

Who will receive these funds? The Session will determine this. Once that decision is made, we will pass it on.

8. What is the total needed, including the 10% tithe, to complete the most recent list of projects? The Session voted on a campaign goal of $2.4 million, which is expected to cover the costs of the most urgent projects and a tithe to mission outreach.

9. Who will be reporting on how much is raised and how funds are being used for projects? The church office, and our new outsourced accounting center, will carefully process and maintain clear separation of capital giving from regular stewardship giving. Ultimately the Session will have to approve all expenditures.

10. What are the projects that will be included? List the items. Why are they needed? SHPC was founded in 1888, and the Saints before us have passed this building to us. It is our responsibility to be good stewards of this building, use it for God’s Glory on Southside of Birmingham and pass this treasure to our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren who will attend SHPC 135 years from now. Below is a budget for the repairs.

  • CHAPEL: $156,012
  • DAVIS FAMILY HALL: $700,000.
  • SANCTUARY: $516,357
  • Cost for these needed repairs plus overhead fees and contingency: $2,135,000
  • Total cost including the 10% mission outreach: $2,348,500

11. How long is the pledge period for the Building for the Future campaign and when does it begin? First Fruits Sunday, November 12, is the beginning of a three-year giving period for the Building for the Future campaign. The Annual Giving pledge will be for one year, as it has been in the past.

As always, we covet your prayerful support of our church, our leadership, and this important campaign. Thanks be to God!