Image: Robert Green

Fondren Church is moving forward with their plans to renovate after entering into a formal agreement with Woodland Hills Baptist Church.

The three-year-old non-denominational church will officially lease the property from Woodland Hills for the next ten years. Fondren Church pastor, Robert Green, explains. “This ensures that we will work together for some time and that Fondren Church will have a permanent home and, one day, own the building.”

The two churches have been meeting in the same space since March 30, 2014. The agreement allows Fondren Church to begin repairs while Woodland Hills continues to worship and minister from the same facility.

Green says Fountain Construction began work on the worship center yesterday.

Plans call for keeping the beauty and charm of the grand architecture. The original pews and stained glass will remain. New carpet will be added, the stage enlarged, and high-quality audio-visual installed. “Nothing will be extravagant, but everything will be excellent,” Green says. The old gothic light fixtures that hang precariously from the ceiling will be replaced. Deteriorating ceiling tiles will be removed. Bathrooms will be redone.

A new flat roof and water-proofing is a must. The foyer area and rooms just off the worship center are being refashioned with a clean and open atrium. This will give Fondren Church a welcome center and place to grab coffee and hang out. Some twenty-thousand square feet will be home to their pre-school and children’s ministry and offices for staff and ministry partners. 200 Million Flowers, Red Door and House of Hope will likely operate out of Fondren Church.

“I’m thrilled that this prime property has the opportunity to remain a church; to be true to it’s original purpose,” Green explains. “I’m glad it hasn’t become another bank or mattress store or even a Krispy Kreme doughnut franchise (although it would be cool if it could be both a church and a Krispy Kreme doughnut franchise,)” he laughs.

The schedule for the work is tight. Green says the church is determined to have the worship center and welcome center ready in August. The pre-school and children’s areas are slated for completion in October or November.

Beginning this upcoming Sunday, June 22, Fondren Church will worship in the gym across the parking lot where North Ridge Church currently meets. North Ridge will continue to meet at 9:30am and Fondren Church will hold services after. Green says, “We anticipate summer worship in the gym to be a seven to eight week venture.”

Green says the renovations, the lease and the plans they are undertaking are a step of faith. “A building either says, ‘Get out or hang out’ and we believe God wants us to have this prime property to tell people to hang out. God is doing something so much bigger than my little life and so much bigger than just our church.”