First Baptist Church of Temple was a church in transition. Loss of their iconic downtown Temple, Texas 1890s-era sanctuary to fire, changing demographics, a new pastor and plateaued growth all pointed to the need for positive change. Church leadership turned to Shanks Architects to provide master planning and design solutions to help the church thrive from transition to transformation.
The first step in the process was to create a Master Plan for the new facilities using the land the church had purchased several years prior. Development was planned for multiple phases, with the ultimate goal of replacing all of the church's existing facilities. The property's location was situated in an area of growth within the community, setting expectations of a large, thriving campus when fully developed.
Representatives from the church expressed their goals for the new facilities. Several churches in North Texas were visited, giving the Shanks team ideas about what the church liked in church design. The concept of a modern building with traditional elements quickly came forward. A local contractor, Cloud Construction, was selected to be the construction manager on the project. They worked closely with the Shanks team and the church throughout the design process.
Master Plan: Phase 1 (First Baptist Church Temple)
Project Size: 301-800 seats
Completion Date: January 26, 2014
The program, planning and design for the first phase was developed over several months and included meetings with church staff, building and interior design committees. Key elements of the design included an interim worship center with 500 seats for traditional and contemporary worship styles, a gym and youth worship facility, a kitchen, a fellowship commons area with welcome center, café, casual seating and areas for check-in and missions ministry. Also included in the design were classrooms for children and adult education. A preschool area, including an adjacent indoor play area with visibility to the commons is also a key feature. Finally the church's administrative offices for the staff were included. Incorporated at the main entry is a covered drop off area and covered walkway.
Visibility of the new facilities was very important to the church, especially in a new location on a large site. The Shanks team designed an 85-foot-tall tower with cross that announces the church's presence day and night. It is highly visible and serves as a beacon to both current and new members.
In the end, the success of this project was due largely to the collaborative efforts of the design team, the church's staff and volunteers and Cloud Construction. The budget goals were met. Since completion in January of 2014, the church has experienced unprecedented growth in attendance and in all ministries. Shanks Architects was privileged to be part of this success and looks forward to the next phase of development for First Baptist Temple.