The renovations included the addition of senior adult Sunday School space on the lower floor on the two sides, new pews, new carpet, new wall coverings, larger foyer to accomodate space for a visitor reception area, and a redesigned worship platform - and new choir robes.
In the service John Blount recognized the design architects and contractors and committes that worked on the project. Mac Brunson said some nice words about what a value John Blount is to the church and how he was so instrumental in completion of the project. John gave a mini-sermon to put into historical and spiritual perspective why the renovations took place.
John's remarks included the following:
"This is our home. This is our place, our space, where we come to meet God. Where we come to hear His word. And from where we go to proclaim His word to the ends of the earth. It is a special, sacred place. It would be very easy to say 'well, we just undertook these renovations and spent three and a half million dollars just for the sake of aesthetic beauty.' In one sense that's true we did do this because of beauty but in another sense and a far deeper sense, the reason we have done what we've done here is because this is such a special and important place.And then:
What we do in this place says a lot about what we believe about the gospel. We have a high value of the gospel in this place, we have a high regard for God's word - it is vital, it is important. When people come in here they should not be distracted by buildings and things, they should find a place that seems to match what God says in His word - we have a high value of the gospel.
Jesus Christ is the most beautiful thing in all the world. And this is our attempt to say 'We think Jesus is beautiful'. He should be shared in a beautiful place, and in a beautiful way. "
So that's why we have done what we've done: because our God is great, because our Savior is beautiful, because the gospel is powerful, it should go out from a place like this.I agree, the place looks beautiful, and yes, Jesus is beautiful and the gospel powerful. But why can't we just say renovations are nice, we like nice things and want our space to look nice? I think it would be truer to say that BECAUSE our God is great, our Savior beautiful and the gospel powerful, it does NOT need to go out from a newly renovated auditorium.
But you have to hand it to Mac. He laid out a plan early in 2007 less than a year into his ministry at FBC Jax that included three major accomplishments to get FBC Jax ready for ministry in the future: a new school, a satellite campus, and auditorium renovations, all major undertakings any time but especially during a repressed economy. He has accomplished all three, and apparently debt free.
Kudos to Mac and John Blount and the faithful at FBC Jax, and best wishes for success in the future.