Fellowship Community Church is experiencing growth in many ways as God continues to work among us. As we seek to follow the flow of His Spirit, we feel called to fulfill our church’s mission to be a “Community of Hope” to our church body and to our South Jersey neighbors.
God at Work
We believe that God has been at work in unique and powerful ways over the last 4 years.
1. In 2015-16 we initiated a series of “NEXT” Conversations. We had 8 two hour meetings with a total of over 400 adults in which we processed our changing demographics (2nd largest demographic is 26-35 years old, 1st largest demographic is 0-10 years old), ministry opportunities and facility challenges. Included in our conclusions was the united consensus at each of the 8 meetings that we had 3 immediate facility needs: 1. a new Childrens Center with classrooms and upgraded nursery facilities, 2. multipurpose event space for our larger ministries, 3. increased worship seating.
2. In 2016 – the house and 8 acres adjacent to our property went on the market. With a 3-week window, our body gave the money to buy the house. This temporarily put the building expansion on hold as we reprocessed an expanded overall site plan (having grown from 14 acres to 22).
3. A stirring to serve families with special needs children. 90% of these families do not attend a church. Yet, these families are pouring into our local community due to the uniquely effective special needs programs of area school districts. Combined with the growth in the number of these families in our area, God has led a growing army of special needs administrators, social workers, and teachers to FCC, who desire to serve these families and children.
4. FCC Staff Vision for Care Ministries. In recent days, God has laid on the hearts of our pastors a hunger to bring in the Stephen’s Ministry to FCC. This training is designed to equip people to serve individuals and families who need unique care (ie. senior adults, families with special needs children, etc.). 50 adults have already signed up requesting the 50 hours of training involved. This training begins in June.
5. Weekly Giving Surge – in the last 2-3 years our weekly giving has dramatically outpaced our budget. God has given us surplus funds awaiting His purposes for them.
6. A Vision for the house. We now see that God did not give us township clearance to use the house until we were ready to devote it entirely to the purposes He has for it…. HOPE HOUSE, our name for the 201 property, will be a place for individuals and groups to meet for prayer, and a center for providing community aid for those with physical and emotional needs.
VISION: Serving Today’s Needs and Tomorrow’s Calling
We believe God is calling us to focus on serving needs that are already prominent in our body and those which are calling us from our community. These include:
1. Prayer and Renewal – we have never sensed the movement of God’s Spirit toward prayer and personal renewal as in recent days. God is raising up multiple groups to pray and cry out to Him for the needs of our local communities.
2. Special Needs Outreach – we sense a true call of God to be ministering to the next generation of families in our community. God has been uniquely equipping us and burdening us to include special needs families in this vision for families.
3. Future Campus and Church Plants – both of our campuses (Mount Laurel and Collingswood) maintain the vision to start other FCC campuses or church plants to continue to be missionally involved in local communities throughout South Jersey.
4. Building Expansion (Mt Laurel campus). Our church ministry at Mount Laurel is now limited 7 days a week. We do have a Sunday problem in overcrowding in our worship services and in our childrens programs. But, our whole ministry (Monday thru Sunday night) is also restricted by our facility limitations. It is impacting many of our ministries being able to grow, or, for some, even find available space to meet at all. As was highlighted at our NEXT Conversations in 2016, and is now even more apparent, we need:
• A new state of the art Children’s Center with greatly expanded nursery spaces. It will include 12 new classrooms for children, a nursing mother’s room, and a committed section of rooms for children with special needs (including sensory spaces). The entire Center would have lockdown capability on Sunday mornings, with one main entrance and one supervised check in area. It would have an enclosed outdoor play area.
• Multi-purpose Event Hall for multiple ministry use. This would include a new, expanded kitchen to serve larger groups and ministries (ie. Senior Adults, Celebrate Recovery, ALPHA, young marrieds, young adults, Family in Focus, youth, etc) and a multi-purpose room to accommodate 450 in seats, and 275 around round tables.
• Expanded Worship Seating (250 seats) to accommodate more visitors to our Sunday worship experiences or special gatherings.
• 201 Cemetery Lane HOPE HOUSE – we plan to meet township requirements for firetruck access to the house thru expanding our parking area for the new building program. HOPE HOUSE and the new facility will become a functioning reality at the same time.
The FCC leadership projects the total cost of this expansion to be approximately $6 million. With God’s grace, our plan is to fund this project with a minimum of financing, while raising the bulk of the funds through individual gift commitments from members and other supporters. This cost is still being evaluated and could change.