Grace Community Church, later to become Grace Raleigh, was born in 2000 as the dream of dozens of our families with a shared desire to impact the Raleigh community with the beauty of the gospel for decades to come. For 16 years through seasons of growth and contraction, Grace occupied a large space that was not ours, but was intended to be a temporary location until a permanent home could be built. In January of 2017, we moved into our current space maintaining the hopes that one day we might finally have a place we could call our own. Although we could not be more grateful for our current space, we also recognize that this space is not the best long-term facility for Grace. It simply isn’t home.
When we dream about our permanent home, we dream of a unified children’s space all under one roof. We dream of a devoted space for students they could call their own. We would love to have larger children’s rooms to accommodate our burgeoning population of young families already attending on a Sunday morning as well as the families we anticipate reaching in years to come. We envision comfortable meeting spaces for small groups that aren’t just repurposed children’s spaces, but are intentionally designed to serve the needs of small groups, committees, and community members who need a place to gather during the week. Our hope is for these comfortable meeting spaces to further our vision of connecting people to one another as we seek to connect with Jesus. To this end, we dream of having a larger lobby with plenty of space to linger, meet, laugh, and pray. We picture a larger, more inviting auditorium (perhaps free of mid-room poles) so that Grace can feel inviting both to the long time partner and to the first time guest. We want Grace to feel like home.
Now as we sit amidst a church body that is growing and thriving, we believe it is the time to pursue these dreams initiated 20 years ago by our faithful partners. We believe that our season of wandering is over and it is time for Grace to go home.
Will there be informational meetings to attend?
Yes. Everyone that calls Grace Raleigh home is invited to attend an informational meeting about the campaign.
Sunday, February 9 at 12:15pm
Sunday, February 16 at 12:15pm
Tuesday, February 25 at 7:00pm
After years of financial uncertainty, we’ve JUST gotten healthy. Is now the time to do this?
This is a great question and a valid concern. The truth is that regardless of what we decide right now, we are still 3 to 5 years away from occupying our own building and entering into mortgage debt. That’s 3 to 5 years to continue growing our financial health, grow as a church, grow our yearly budget, and prepare to assume the responsibility of debt. Because the timetable is so long, we need to initiate these decisions well in advance of actual implementation. If we waited 2 to 3 years to begin a capital campaign, that could result in a wait of 5 to 8 years to occupy a new space.
What’s the current size of our church and are we seeing growth?
Grace had an average attendance of 235 in the Spring of 2018. In the first half of 2019, we averaged approximately 275 people per week. Since the Fall of 2019, we’re averaging about 290 per week. This equates to a growth rate of about 10% annually, one that we are trusting God to sustain as we look towards the future.
What is our current financial status?
Grace Raleigh has paid off all legacy debt, both credit cards and bank-owed, so we presently carry no debt. We had an operating budget of about $750,000 for 2019 and anticipate a similar budget for 2020. Our current leased space of about 8,200 sf costs us about $10,000 per month for rent and TICAM (taxes, insurance, and common area maintenance). In addition, the elders decided in October of 2018 to set aside $4,000 per month in a long term savings account that will go towards the campaign, which now has grown to about $60,000. Further, we finished 2019 receiving greater offerings than we anticipated while underspending on our budget by approximately $30,0000.
So what’s the big picture plan for the campaign and facilities search?
Our goal is to raise $1.5M over a two-year period, starting in the first quarter of 2020, while maintaining or growing the present level of giving at a sufficient level to pay our operating budget of $750,000 annually. We also hope that we continue to grow during this period and that monthly giving will grow as well. Raising $1.5M would allow us to borrow about $3M, resulting in an available $4.5M of cash and credit for a new facility. According to the Building Committee’s estimates, we are looking for a building space of about 20,000 sf with about 100,000 sf of parking on about 4 acres of land. An auditorium size adequate for about 500 worshippers is being considered. Finally, we are looking for a building or a piece of property that is as close to our present location as possible.
Do we know the Rectors’ long-term plans for staying at Grace Raleigh?
As honestly and truthfully as they can state it, the Rectors intend to remain at Grace for the long haul. Of course, we have no idea what God could have in store and how He will choose to move the pieces of His Kingdom, but we can be certain that Nate and his family are happy in Raleigh, at Grace, and in their desire to be here for many years to come.
What happens if, for some reason, we are not able to complete the project?
If at the end of our two year campaign we have insufficient funds to complete our goal of owning our own building, the elders reserve the right to extend the campaign for up to 5 total years. After 5 years the continuance of the campaign would be subject to a vote by the partners. If the decision is made to abandon our goal of building ownership for any reason, the funds collected will be evenly distributed amongst the international ministry organizations we support at the time of dissolution (currently these ministries are Faith Ministry, Addis Jemari, and Ubuntu).
For those donors for whom this solution is less than ideal, they will have the following options:
- To re-purpose the funds for the operating budget of Grace Raleigh.
- To re-designate the funds for a charity of the donor’s choice (provided the charity meets elder approval which will be primarily based upon the ultimate goal of the charity being to further the kingdom of God and the charity being a legal 501(c)3).
- Grace Raleigh will work with the donor to facilitate a full refund of the donation.
How will I know how much to give? What amount is appropriate?
Although the campaign obviously has a financial component, we also hope that this will be a time of self-reflection and prayer as we each ask God, “How can my giving and living reflect my commitment to your Kingdom?” As we move into the early phase of the campaign, we hope to encourage a time of remembrance and gratitude as we think back over God’s faithfulness to us as individuals and as a church. As you consider how you might best contribute or use your accumulated assets to help fund the campaign, we hope it becomes part of your spiritual journey. Finally, we recognize that God does not need or require our money, rather, He invites us into the process and joy of generosity.
Will my pledge amount and personal information remain private?
Consistent with our history, no individual giving information has been or will be used in the campaign. All donor and pledge amounts will be kept confidential, known only to Tom LeDoux, Grace’s financial manager and a founding staff member, who resides in Florida. It is our belief that if a permanent home is in God’s plan for Grace, then our partners will faithfully embrace that plan and give accordingly.