New Conference Center
UPDATE: April/May 2015
Ground can be broken on new Conference Center if 5,000 people each give $100
At the heart of United Methodism is the concept of connectionalism, a system which “enables us to carry out our mission in unity and strength” (Book of Discipline, ¶701).
Basically, it means that together we can accomplish far more than any one church or person could alone.
That connectionalism is at the heart of the South Georgia Conference Center Task Force’s latest fundraising effort for the new Conference Center.
They’re asking 5,000 South Georgia United Methodists to support the project by giving a $100 gift by June 1.
If at least 5,000 individuals or families each give $100, the Task Force would have the funds needed to move forward and break ground on the project.
“We want everyone to have ownership of this Conference Center,” said Dr. Hal Brady, chairman of the Conference Center Task Force. “It seems that $100 is a gift that all of us, either as individuals or as families, can give to make this center a reality.”
The Conference is currently paying more than $53,000 per year to rent space for the Episcopal Office and Administrative Services Office in Macon, and these spaces have become overcrowded and no longer adequately meet the needs of the Conference. The new Conference Center, which will be located on the grounds of Wesleyan College in Macon, will allow several conference offices to work under the same roof instead of being dispersed in multiple office buildings and will optimize work flow and delivery of services to the conference.
To date, $1.3 million of the $2.2 million project has already been raised. The $500,000 Conference leaders expect to raise from this effort, plus other fundraising of $134,000, will move the Conference to the point of breaking ground. If no other funds are raised, the Conference will borrow the final $250,000 and repay it using funds currently allocated for rent.
“While buildings are not the main thing, they can be instrumental in enabling the mission to be effectively accomplished,” Dr. Brady said.
The mission – to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world – can be carried out more efficiently and with better stewardship of resources with the majority of the Conference’s staff under one roof and in one building, he says.
The Task Force hopes that this effort will also garner a broad range of support for the Conference Center.
“This would give people ownership,” Dr. Brady said. “Our hope all along has been that people would own this.”
Task Force members understand that the economic recession hit a lot of people hard but remain optimistic that their goal of 5,000 people giving $100 each is within reach.
“$100 is a significant amount of money,” said Dr. Marcus Tripp, a member of the Conference Center Task Force and retired pastor. “But it’s a range that a lot of people can do with a little forethought so we think it is doable.”
The dream can only become a reality with broad support from the Conference, he said.
“The South Georgia Conference deserves a home and with all of us praying, working and giving together we can make it a reality,” Dr. Brady said.
To support the new Conference Center, send checks to Dr. Derek McAleer, Administrative Services, PO Box 13145, Macon, GA 31208.
Church Bulletin Insert
Download the New Conference Center bulletin insert here. Designed to be put in your local church bulletin.
Everybody needs a home and so does the South Georgia Conference
A Word about the Conference Center
“Everybody needs a home and so does the South Georgia Conference.” This theme expresses clearly where we are in our mission and ministry in South Georgia. In order to be more effective in our efforts to make disciples for the transformation of the world we need to combine the Episcopal Offices and the Administrative Services Offices into a single home.
The project cost is $2.9 million dollars. Since there are no designated monies, we are seeking to raise the funds through private donations. This three year campaign began in June 2010. We invite every South Georgia United Methodist to consider making a gift or three year pledge to this needed Conference-wide project. Every gift counts. Join us in glorifying God and giving the South Georgia Conference a home.
-Hal Brady, Chair
Conference Center Design
Contributions and Naming Opportunities
To make a contribution, makes checks payable to “South Georgia Conference Center” and mail to Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services, P.O. Box 13145, Macon, GA 31208.
Naming opportunities are available. For further information on naming opportunities (see list above) contact Dr. Hal Brady at 678-974-882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know of anyone who might be interested in making a financial contribution to this project, please contact Dr. Hal Brady at 678-974-882 or email@example.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why do we need a conference center?
A Task Force did a careful study of the needs of the South Georgia Conference focusing on three major areas: good stewardship of financial resources, current operational needs and future growth and ministry of the Conference.
The Conference is currently paying $53,154.00 a year to rent the Episcopal Office and the Administrative Services Office in Macon. Both of these facilities are overly crowded, have inadequate parking and are faced with security concerns. Given the current need and assuming the South Georgia Conference will grow and thrive, the Task Force recommended to the 2009 Annual Conference that we secure the land and construct a Conference Center to house the Episcopal Office and the Administrative Services personnel and provide an office for Connectional Ministries personnel when they are in Macon. (The main office of Connectional Ministries will remain at Epworth by the Sea).
2. How much will the Conference Center cost?
The total cost of the 10,600 square foot Conference Center is $2,900,000.00. The finances are to be raised by private donors and not apportionments. We appreciate the 2009 Annual Conference approving a gift to begin the project. These funds came from capital expenditure money which with interest has now accrued to $500,000.
3. Why will the conference Center be built at Wesleyan?
Wesleyan College has long been recognized as a Methodist hub and its location is widely known in Macon and throughout the South Georgia Conference. It has easy access and is convenient to the mission and ministry of the Annual Conference. Because of zoning regulations in the Wesleyan area of Macon, the Conference will construct the building on land we lease from Wesleyan for 99 years for an up-front payment and $1 per year. The North Alabama Conference has a similar relationship with Birmingham Southern.
4. Are there naming opportunities?
Yes, there are naming opportunities. To make a contribution, makes checks payable to “South Georgia Conference Center” and mail to Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services, P.O. Box 13145, Macon, GA 31208.
• Building Wings $300,000 ea. (two)
• Bishop’s Suite $150,000
• Lobbying Area $25,000
• Courtyard Garden $20,000
• Workroom $10,000
• Large Conference Room $250,000
• Small Conference Room $25,000
• Kitchen $20,000
• Conference Offices $10,000 each (thirteen)
• Break-out Room $5,000
5. Who are the Task Force committee members?
Hal Brady, Chair, Brad Brady, Charlene Black, James Crosse, Nathan Godley, Waverly Golson Miriam Hagan, Ramon Hernandez, Marshall Howell, Bishop James King, Gloria Morgan, Warren Plowden, Marcus Tripp
Your comments and questions are appreciated and may be sent to Hal Brady at 678-974-882 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Bit of History
At the 2009 session of the South Georgia Annual Conference, the Conference approved the design, fundraising and building of a much needed 8,000 square foot Conference Center in Macon, Georgia. The proposal passed was a two million dollar project with a little over $419,000 already in hand. The remaining funds would be received from private donors and not local churches.