Solid Rock United Methodist Church
Wednesday, October 04, 2023
... building lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ

Building Project


View photos of construction progress on our Facebook page.


October 30, 2011


     Solid Rock United Methodist Church of Warren held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new church building on Sunday, October 30, 2011. After sharing a carry-in lunch, members of the congregation gathered at the site on Bennett Drive. Following a blessing by Northeast District Superintendent Rev. David Michel, ground was broken by pulling a walk-behind plow driven by Bruce Preston, Building Committee Chair, Pastor Kathy Newton, and David Spahr, Trustees Chair.


     Solid Rock United Methodist was formed in 2008, the result of a merger of the Warren and Jefferson Center United Methodist Churches. The Warren congregation came into existence in 1838, and the Jefferson Center church was formed in 1927. Solid Rock held their first joint service on July 6, 2008, and have been meeting in the Warren building.

      The new 9,500 square-foot facility will feature a sanctuary/multipurpose space, classrooms, kitchen, nursery, coffee area, and office space for the pastor and church staff. It will be constructed on a 10-acre parcel in the Warren Professional Park near Heritage Pointe and within walking distance of downtown Warren.


October 16, 2011

     In a Church Conference held today, the Solid Rock congregation voted 87 to 0 to accept the proposed building plan. A carry-in dinner will take place after worship on October 30, followed by a groundbreaking ceremony at the building site.

     Capital Campaign pledges total $556,373. To date, $449,100, or 81%, has been received. Total Building Fund receipts are $684,454. Total building funds currently are in excess of $815,000.


December 2010

      If one were asked to identify a birthday for Solid Rock United Methodist Church, it would likely be March 18, 2008. On that evening, following months of discussion and prayer, the congregations of Warren United Methodist Church and Jefferson Center United Methodist Church individually voted to unite as a church body. The new Solid Rock congregation recognized early in the process that a new facility would be necessary in order to fulfill their vision of ministry to the community. Among the first committees formed were a Capital Funds Team and a Building/Site Team.

     In August, 2008, Solid Rock engaged the services of Church Growth Services (CGS), to advise in the capital campaign process, and Studio Three, to prepare building design. The Capital Campaign, “One Rock, One Church, One Challenge,” was initiated in October 2009. Guided by an in-depth study conducted by CGS, a goal to receive pledges totaling $400,000 was set by the Capital Funds Team. This was considered to be an ambitious, yet attainable goal for our congregation, and would permit the construction of a first building phase, meeting basic congregational needs.

      God blessed our campaign abundantly! As of early December, 2009, a total of $502,573 had been pledged by 73 families, with a final commitments totaling $556,000. One year later, how is the campaign progressing? As of November 30, 2010, Solid Rock has received gifts totaling $320,000!

      Prior to the capital campaign, the Building Fund stood at $215,000 (from sales of the Jefferson Center building and parsonage and previously designated funds). After deducting various expenses (fees to Church Growth Services, Studio Three, and a few other building-related expenses), our current balance is in excess of $513,000.

      God has generously showered His blessings upon Solid Rock in this first year of the campaign! Thank you to those who made commitments during the fall 2009 campaign, to those have made pledges since that time, and to all who have so generously, sacrificially, and faithfully continued to fulfill those pledges.


     The Building and Site Committee met with architect Brian Hollars, his associate Kerry LaPrees, and interior designer Lois Green on December 15 to look at their most recent plans for the new church building. Brian and the committee have worked to keep the integrity of the “axis leading to the cross” concept central in the designs. The plans include a multiuse room with a portion set aside as a dedicated sanctuary with permanent pews. The tall narthex will be one of the most striking features of the building, capable of serving the congregation and community in a number of ways.

      The committee and Brian have worked hard to make as much of the building multifunctional as possible. Although there is still a lot of work to do, the committee is confident that this building will serve both the Lord and the Warren community well.


January 3, 2010

     Update: Capital campaign commitments now stand at $556,000.


December 20, 2009

     Capital campaign update: Commitments now total $529.073, with 77 families participating.


December 6, 2009

     Solid Rock’s capital campaign, “One Rock, One Church, One Challenge,” exceeded its $400,000 goal by over $100,000. Campaign chair Steve Holmes announced on Celebration Sunday, December 6, that $502,573 has been pledged by 73 families. Now that a funding figure has been established, the Building Committee will move forward with the planning process.


August 30, 2009

     On August 23, architect Brian Hollars updated the congregation regarding modifications to the building plan based on congregational input. Brian indicated that further development of the design would not be possible until funding levels are determined.

     On August 30, the congregation voted to proceed with a fall capital funds campaign.


June 22, 2009

        Reporting findings from Vision Sunday input, telephone interviews, and a congregational survey, Bill Walter of Church Growth Services recommended that Solid Rock proceed with a capital funds campaign, and that by addressing a few issues he predicted an optimum outcome.

       Walter’s study found that 77.3% of survey respondents “agree” or “strongly agree” that they “are willing to financially support the proposed project.” It has been CGS’s experience that churches with 60% support or greater have successful campaigns.

     The study also found, however, that concerns with the building plan need to be addressed. Seventy-seven percent of survey respondents agree that “the architect and Building Committee should update the design before we launch a capital campaign.” Further, the study found that 42.4% of respondents are not sure that they have sufficient understanding of the project to make a financial commitment.

     Design concerns that emerged from the study include parking accessibility, congested transition hallway, extensive use of glass and exterior light, program capacities, use and function of the lower level (basement), exterior appearance, and sanctuary seating arrangement. The Building/Site Committee has met with the architect and these concerns are being addressed.

     New information gained as a result of the study has necessitated a revision of the initial campaign goal. CGS’s first projection was based on household income data derived from the U.S. census for this community. The recent congregational survey revealed the actual figure to be significantly less. The original goal of a three-year campaign yielding $400,000 to $800,000 has been reduced to $300,000 to $600,000, with $400,000 considered a realistic goal. With all factors considered, CGS believes that Solid Rock will have between $1,030,000 and $1,330,000 in resources to commit to this building project, depending on the success of our capital campaign.

     The Capital Funds Committee will report the findings of this study to the congregation in the near future. In the meantime, the Building/Site Committee will continue to work with the architect to refine the design, and will report to the congregation when new information becomes available.

     One concern emerging from the report was that momentum toward completing the project not be lost. If no significant obstacles intervene, a capital campaign will take place this fall, with the hope that construction on a new facility might begin as early as June 2010.


April 19, 2009

Solid Rock congregants observed Vision Sunday on April 19. Following a worship service centered on a vision theme, a carry-in lunch was shared. The afternoon session was led by capital funds consultant Bill Walter, representing Church Growth Services, and architect Brian Hollars from Studio Three. Following the presentations, small group discussions gave participants an opportunity to express their thoughts regarding the proposal. A portion of the congregation will be asked to participate in follow-up telephone interviews, and a congregational survey will be conducted. Church Growth Services will complete their pre-campaign assessment this summer. If this assessment results in a “green light,” the capital funds campaign will likely take place this fall. If the assessment identifies issues of concern, they will be addressed before the campaign proceeds.


February 7, 2009

The Solid Rock congregation participated in a charrette on February 7. Led by architects Brian Hollars and Kerry LaPrees, attendees shared their ideas regarding the new church building.




Click here to see an aerial view of the building site.


Click here for ground-level photos of the site.