On August 18, Manhattan First Christian Church dedicated its new facility at 3001 Grand Mere Parkway. Comprising nearly 18,000 square feet, the contemporary structure houses a sanctuary, narthex, offices, conference room, kitchen, fellowship hall, and classrooms that double as a childcare center. The seven-acre property also includes a patio, parking lot and playground.
Approximately 165 people attended the dedication. Pastor Ben Hitzfeld led the service and participated in the ribbon-cutting as did Building Committee Chair Dr. Richard Gallagher, Regional Minister Steve Martin, and Coordinating Council Chair Ruby K. Brower, and others.
“We were delighted with the turnout, which included our members, plus local dignitaries and special guests,” says Dr. Gallagher. “We were also happy to welcome Rick Reisinger, President of Disciples Church Extension Fund (DCEF) which has been so instrumental to this project. We have a wonderful working relationship with them,” he notes. “Prior to breaking ground, we were able to obtain a construction loan from DCEF that allowed us to move forward and stay on schedule. That has been greatly appreciated.”
DCEF is the ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) that inspires and empowers congregations to create Holy Places where people connect with God, each other and their community. Over the years, First Christian Church has relied on the counsel of DCEF Building and Capital Service Advisors in Building Evaluation, Planning, Site Consultation, Fund-raising, Loan and New Beginnings – a transformational service focused on helping church leadership re-imagine their future mission and ministry for the good of their community.
“We are proud of our long and mutually beneficial association with First Christian Church,” says Rick Reisinger, DCEF President. “They have a positive vision for the future dedicated to welcoming all to God’s table and to serving their Grand Mere neighbors both inside and outside church walls.”
Manhattan FCC was founded in 1867 with 36 charter members. At first, the church had no governing board and all business was brought before the entire congregation; the first board met in 1889. Major decisions are still brought before the congregation including the decision to relocate from downtown Manhattan to alleviate a chronic parking shortage and aging building issues.
Major decisions are still brought before the congregation including the decision to relocate from downtown Manhattan to alleviate a chronic parking shortage and aging building issues.