Emmanuel Baptist gets more space

Posted: Thursday, October 25, 2001

Emmanuel Baptist Church plans to more than double its size by fall 2002.

A 2,000-square-foot sanctuary will be added to the building on Glacier Highway west of a horse stable, according to documents submitted to the city. The existing 1,235-square-foot sanctuary will be converted to classroom space for Bible-study classes, said the Rev. Earl Midkiff, pastor of the church.

The Juneau Planning Commission granted the church a conditional use permit Tuesday.

"It's wonderful. I'm just so excited about this," Midkiff said. "We will be able to have more activities and we can expand our Sunday school. Right now our building has to work as a multiple-use building and it's very small. We were in desperate need for more space."

Midkiff said the 40-member congregation has been planning for the expansion for 18 years. He said when he came to the church a year ago he saw the need for more space in order to expand the church's ministry and education programs.

"We think they're (Bible classes) a way to enlist more children and adults into our church," he said. "It's a viable way of reaching people and ministering to our members."

Midkiff said the expansion will add as many as eight classrooms. He said with the additional space the church could nearly triple the number of classes now offered.

The estimated cost of construction is $200,000, he said. But Midkiff said he will try to lower that by enlisting construction help from other Baptist churches.

He said collection of a voluntary 10 percent tithe and donations made by members of the congregation have enabled the church to raise one-third of the estimated cost of the expansion.

The building is located just east of a residential area, and the site is zoned for single-family homes and duplexes.

City Planner Chris Beanes said in his report to the Planning Commission that the expansion should have no detrimental effect on the residents neighboring the church. He also said he expects the expansion will not increase traffic along Glacier Highway or cause noise disturbance past the church's property line.

Melanie Plenda can be reached at mplenda@juneau empire.com.

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