A Look into Mount Carmel's Future:
The Freedom Campaign
The congregation voted to approve a motion that allows us to take a big step forward with our Master Plan. We shared our plans and vision for the future of our church in our community, and the membership endorsed the plan with the authorization to spend funds, as they are available, for development of the site plan and design of Phase 1B. We will continue to prayerfully seek God’s guidance in using our resources to give God the glory. The motion, as presented: “The Master Plan team moves that the church authorize spending up to $675,000 to fund the design fees, site plan approval, permitting, survey and other fees associated with moving forward with Phase 1B of the Master Plan.”
Phase 1B includes an Outdoor Pavilion which will be located south of the garden and a Recreation Park located across the street along Jay Thomas Drive.
How you can help:
Prayerfully consider contributing to the Freedom Campaign.
Visit www.mcbc1803.org/give to explore giving options.
Giving online allows you to specify which church account to give to (choose "Freedom Campaign") and gives you the option to make your contribution recurring
Visit www.mcbc1803.org/give to give online
Give In-Person or Via Mail
Make checks payable to "Mount Carmel Baptist Church" and write "Freedom Campaign" in the memo line to designate funds towards the campaign
Drop your gift off in the offering plate or mail it in to the church office at 2016 Mt. Carmel Church Rd, Chapel Hill NC 27517
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question: In the Freedom Campaign booklet we see the number of church members and extended church family members listed. What is the difference between the two?
Answer: Members are people who have affirmed - in one way or another, whether that be a public statement, a baptism, etc. - that they want to be a part of the church body here at Mount Carmel. Extended church family members are those who have not joined, but who who have been involved at Mount Carmel either through participating in worship with us, studying in classes with us, or volunteering with one of our many missions. Not everyone joins, and sometimes many years pass before someone decides to join. We want to include everyone as we move forward with the Master Plan.
Question: Should we include assisting our daughter and granddaughter churches in a phase of the Master Plan?
Answer: Not yet! We will have more discussions on how we can support our daughters and granddaughters in October.
Question: Could we use one or more of the three rental properties that were purchased in Phase 1a of the Master Plan to house refugees? Would we need to hire a staff person to manage this mission?
Answer: Yes, we are considering using one of the three rental properties to house refugees. Two of the homes - 1021 Jay Thomas Drive and 1003 Jay Thomas Drive - already have rental contracts but the property at 2009 Mt Carmel Church Road is available and the church is working towards housing refugees for a period of one year. The church will work with local resettlement agencies to support the refugees as they acclimate to their new life.
Question: How does the Recreation Park relate to the three rental homes on the property?
Answer: We plan for the two rental properties closest to Mt Carmel Church Road - 2009 Mt Carmel Church Road and 1003 Jay Thomas Drive - to eventually be demolished. The property furthest down Jay Thomas Drive, 1021 Jay Thomas Drive, may become a Recreation Park welcome center, house refugees, or serve any other number of missions.
Question: Does the Freedom Campaign include rent from the three rental properties?
Answer: Yes, it does, however, income from our rental properties does not fully cover the cost of those properties. In addition to the three recently purchased rental properties at 1021 Jay Thomas Drive, 1003 Jay Thomas Drive, and 2009 Mt Carmel Church Road, the church also owns the parsonage directly across the street. The parsonage is paid for. We have two loans for the other three properties for which we owe a combined $850,000, and pay $6,500 a month. Rental income from the parsonage and the properties at 1021 Jay Thomas Drive and 1003 Jay Thomas Drive totals $5,000 a month, giving us a shortfall each month.
Question: Would it be possible for the proposed Recreation Park gymnasium to be constructed so that we can use it as an emergency shelter for the community in case of a natural disaster? Will the gym have shower facilities and/or a generator?
Answer: We will take this into consideration. It is possible to provide the infrastructure for things like showers and a generator ahead of time and complete them later if the church agrees to it and the budget allows. It is also worthwhile to note that the Fellowship Hall is certified for use as a shelter by the American Red Cross.
Question: What will happen to the current shelter building when construction begins on the Community Building? Will the fireplace continue to be used?
Answer: DTW Architects understand the historical significance of the fireplace. Sketches have already been drawn up of the proposed Community Building with the fireplace incorporated into the new structure. Incorporating it would be easier than moving it.
Question: How will we prevent issues with noise during the construction of the Outdoor Pavilion? We are close in proximity to our neighbors at Carolina Meadows and host multiple groups and classes weekly that may be disturbed by the noise. In the future, how will we prevent noise when the Outdoor Pavilion is used for events, outdoor worship, revivals, etc.?
Answer: Noise during construction is inevitable, but it is temporary. Construction workers will only work during normal daytime hours and will adhere to local noise ordinances. The church will need to decide exactly what we do - what events and activities we will host - at the Pavilion and will then need to set parameters for those events and activities. We have been advised to begin conversations with Carolina Meadows early on and receive their input as we make decisions on the Pavilion's use.
Question: Once construction begins, how will traffic flow work/how will traffic be directed? How will construction impact the church's regular activities?
Answer: Construction of the Pavilion on the south side of our main campus should not effect traffic flow, nor should any construction taking place across the street at the proposed Recreation Park. Once we begin construction of the Community Building, DTW Architects will enact a staging plan to offset any interruptions to traffic flow.
Question: How will we tie the main campus on one side of the road to the Recreation Park on the other side of the road? How will future activities move between the two properties safely? Will we need a cross walk, a bridge, etc.? Have we reached out to the Department of Transportation concerning this?
Answer: DTW Architects will approach NC DOT with our concerns over the traffic on Mt Carmel Church Road and will address safety when crossing the road by installing a cross walk.
Question: Have we considered that Orange County may place restrictions and regulations on our projects? If so, will we be able to adapt our projects and/or timeline?
Answer: DTW Architects is familiar with Orange County's regulations and know the steps required to get our projects approved.
Question: Is it possible for us to focus on more than one task in the Master Plan at a time? As we continue to grow there is concern about overcrowding in the existing buildings. The church had previously discussed hosting both the 9am and 11am services in the Sanctuary. Expansion of the Sanctuary is currently slated in the last phase of the Master Plan. Perhaps we could reconsider our priorities.
Answer: The Master Plan Team had initially focused on the expansion of the Sanctuary and Education Buildings, but concerns about displacing the offices, choir, and classrooms made them re-consider. Furthermore, if the church were to begin with the construction of the Community Building to offset the displacement of the groups in the Education Building, the Community Building would displace the groups that use the shelter. So, the team decided that constructing the Outdoor Pavilion first, which could host the groups that use the shelter, made the most sense. The pandemic also made the Master Plan Team prioritize outdoor spaces.
Question: Will we complete payment of one phase of the Master Plan before moving on to the next phase? Will we overlap phases or will they be independent? Also, would we consider allowing a person/group of people to make a significant contribution to expedite a certain phase?
Answer: The Master Plan Team is not in control of phasing; the church will decide which projects to to undertake and when.
Question: How much will all this cost?
Answer: It will cost $675,000 to fund the design fees, site plan approval, permitting, survey and other fees associated with moving forward with Phase 1B of the Master Plan, which includes the Outdoor Pavilion and Recreation Park. This is not a fixed or set cost; it is at the top end range of what we are estimating. This figure does not include construction costs. Construction of the Outdoor Pavilion and Recreation Park in Phase 1b would cost an estimated $5-6 million. Construction is not anticipated to begin for at least one year. Keep in mind that projects will be constructed in phases, and this is not a figure we need to pay all at one.
Question: Explain the difference between a site plan and a design.
Answer: A site plan addresses issues such as storm water, parking, and landscaping. It is presented to Orange County for approval. Site plans are good for five years. The design addresses various aspects of construction, such as materials needed. Both the site plan and the design will take one year to complete.
Question: How will we pay for this? Will there be a capital campaign?
Answer: Our initial source of funding the $675,000 will be through contributions. We cannot borrow funds at this time, as our bank requires that there be a capital campaign and a 20% down payment to secure a loan. The money we raise towards in our capital campaign will be able to count towards meeting the down payment requirement. A capital campaign is simply giving specifically to one purpose, and we can utilize fundraisers such as the BBQ to raise funds towards our campaign. We have created a Capital Campaign Team to explore fundraising options.
Question: Why are we not including the $850,000 in debt we have on our three recently purchased rental properties in our capital campaign? There is concern that we will be paying off two debts at once.
Answer: Aggressively paying off the rental loans prevents us from moving forward with the Master Plan. Because no loan is being taken out for the $675,000, we are only spending what we are given and are not indebted in any way.
Question: What is the time frame for raising the $675,000?
Answer: That depends on the church's giving. Our annual operating budget is $635,000. If we double our current giving we could raise the money in a year.
Question: What will our budget look like during and after the completion of these projects?
Question: How do the figures we are talking about compare to our last campaign when we built the Fellowship Hall?
Answer: The Fellowship Hall cost $2.2 million. When construction of it was complete, the church still owned $1million. Two of our church members decided to create the Freedom Campaign to free the church from this debt and the debt was paid off in a period of five years with giving at $20,000 a month. Based on the growth we've seen at Mount Carmel in the number of people and the growth in our budget, we expect the same type of giving.
Question: If we are providing space and facilities for the community to use, are we also considering how to have the community help us with that? And, is there a way we can help them feel some ownership?
Answer: Yes! As an example, we are currently working with one of the groups we host at Mount Carmel, AHOP Christian Academy, to expand their responsibilities here.
Question: Should we hire a staff person to spearhead a community/recreation ministry? Are we prepared for how children and youth programs might expand because of these new spaces and will we need to hire more staff to accommodate them?
Answer: Yes and no. The roles of our current staff members may evolve and expand as we grow. We would wait to see real growth before considering hiring new staff.