DeKALB – A year into their capital and building campaign, members of First United Methodist Church in DeKalb still are trying to purchase a 15-acre plot of land on North Annie Glidden Road for their new church site.
Church campaign co-chairman Jim Horn said the church has a property in mind but did not want to disclose the location because the church hasn't closed on the purchase. He said the church also has yet to work out utility services for the property or secure annexation and proper zoning from the city of DeKalb.
Horn said it's difficult to say when the church might break ground on the project. He said the church wants to raise enough money to pay for the new location in cash.
"We still have a ways to go," Horn said.
As of March 31, more than $2.4 million has been pledged and more than $1 million has been received for the project. Horn said the fundraising numbers now are higher than that but he didn't want to say how much because the updated numbers haven't been announced to the congregation yet.
"But we're well above that amount," Horn said.
Lindy Arnett, spokeswoman for the church, said the current building at 317 N. Fourth St. is beautiful, but it's more than 100 years old. She said the need for repairs for the building has become constant.
"It's sad to be leaving it," Arnett said, "but we just can't maintain it anymore."
Horn said it has been a long and exciting project, with research for the project beginning about 14 years ago. He said the church is 13 months into its three-year fundraising campaign.
Horn said there are no definite building plans for the project yet. He said it would be another two years or more before construction might begin.
"We have conceptual plans, but it's just conceptual," Horn said.
Horn said the current church building has certain limitations with being landlocked and the desire is to have a more flexible space. For example, he said, he's looking forward to having more green space for youth outdoor activities.
"Bottom line is that the congregation is excited to be getting the church built," Horn said.