Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is now the time for a new worship center?
A: It is imperative for our church’s growth. Our sanctuary is full of cherished
memories, but it presents significant challenges we cannot ignore. Many of our worship
services are already near capacity. Access for persons with physical challenges
is inadequate. Some of the seating capacity impairs the worship experience because
of obstructed views. The acoustics limit music and other presentation opportunities.
In short, the need is critical, and this is a great time to build because construction
costs are relatively low.
Q: What can the church expect to gain from all the changes?
A: The transformation of our campus will dramatically increase First Baptist’s ability
to minister to our city. It will make room for hundreds or even thousands more worshipers
and Sunday School attendees and will vastly increase our capacity for weekday groups.
The worship center in particular will also be an iconic presence in the city, standing
boldly as a continuation of our legacy in downtown Dallas.
Q: What are the distinctive intent and features of the new campus design?
A: The design is filled with messages about our church. The glass, the water, the
light and the spaciousness of the plan speak of openness, transparency and spiritual
refreshment. In a way, the glass walls have an evangelistic effect: people walking
by have a view in from the street and feel drawn in. The glass also unifies the
architecture of the church by extending the aesthetic started by the Criswell Center,
which was built in 2006, and thus capitalizes on our $50 million investment in that
multi-purpose facility. As for long-term cost, modern technologies allow vast use
of glass with surprising energy efficiency.
Q: With the current economic conditions, why tackle a project of this size?
A: In terms of stewardship, this is an unusually opportune time to build. For every
dollar spent on construction, research shows that we will receive up to $1.30 in
value. Wise counsel tells us that when time comes to begin construction, the economy
will likely be in recovery. There is no doubt that this is a “God-sized” project.
But as Ephesians teaches, God is able to do far more – abundantly more – than we
can ask or think.
Q: How is the church going to raise the resources?
A: Each church family was asked to make a three-year commitment, over and above
their ongoing contributions. The total amount pledged completely covered the estimated
cost of the new campus.
Q: Will the project be done in phases or all at once?
A: There are the unprecedented savings in construction costs available right now.
At this time, based on the monetary amount pledged by our members, we are moving
forward with the plan to build the entire campus all at once.
Q: What will identify the complex as a church?
A: Right now, the only thing that distinguishes our facility is the steeple on the
sanctuary. In the new complex, that steeple will be restored to its original height.
In addition, the cross tower and fountain in the center of the property will clearly
identify our campus as a welcoming, multi-purpose spiritual center.
Q: What will become of the church’s current sanctuary?
A: It will remain a vital part of the life of First Dallas as a place for classes,
meetings, weddings and funerals. In fact, when buildings surrounding it are removed,
it will be even more visible than it is presently.
Q: Will parking be improved?
A: Parking is an absolute priority in the plan. A new parking structure will be
constructed next to the educational building on the Cotton Exchange property, with
extremely easy access to the preschool and children’s areas.
Q: Where will First Baptist Academy be located?
A: The Spurgeon Harris Building will be its new, permanent home.
Q. How does this new campus fit into the revitalization of downtown Dallas?
A: It will make a compelling statement of the central role of God’s church in Dallas.
It forms a new gateway to the heart of the city, a landmark as significant as its
neighbors from the spheres of commerce, the arts and government.
Q. How does the cost of this campus compare to other recent downtown Dallas
A: It will cost in the $115 million range, substantially less than the Convention
Center Hotel (an expected $500 million) and the Dallas Center for the Performing
Arts ($354 million), both worthy projects. We expect our new sanctuary to take its
rightful place alongside them as a world-class facility.