New Conference Center less than $500,000 from being fully funded


After being revised and “right-sized,” South Georgia’s new Conference Center is $492,000 from being fully funded. That’s a $700,000 savings from the original construction estimate.

“Anytime you can save $700,000 and still fulfill a vision, it’s a good thing!” said Bishop Lawson Bryan.

The cost savings are a result of a collaborative partnership with Wesleyan College, which recently built Pierce Chapel and the Corn Center, and their willingness to allow the Conference use of those conference and food-service spaces.

Several options were carefully considered before Bishop Bryan and the Conference Center Task Force revised the original architectural plans and decided upon this course of action: locating in an existing church (either active or closed);  leasing or purchasing commercial property; or continuing the original plan to locate at Wesleyan College. 

“In comparing the pros and cons of each option I found a distinct advantage of the Wesleyan College property,” Bishop Bryan said, noting that being located on the college campus would allow the Conference to pursue a missional partnership with the United Methodist-related college and give access to food service, security service, and meeting space of varying sizes. “There is one more very important consideration: cost. Since the original conference center plans were drawn, Wesleyan College has added a handsome new building, and having that space available for our use has allowed us to revisit the architectural plans for the conference center.”

The Conference is currently paying more than $50,000 each year to rent the Episcopal Office and the Administrative Services Office in Macon. Both of these facilities are overcrowded, have inadequate parking, and are faced with security concerns. The 2009 Annual Conference voted on and approved the building of a new Conference Center in Macon on the grounds of Wesleyan College.

Bishop Bryan thanked those who have given and pledged his commitment to completing the project and raising the remaining funds.

“I want to thank the individual donors, churches, classes, groups, and foundations whose contributions have brought us to this point,” he said. “Thanks also to the Conference Trustees and the Council on Finance and Administration for their guidance in working with the New Conference Center Committee. I have learned just how much this center will serve the South Georgia Conference by bringing our staff together under one roof. We will truly be Alive Together in Christ.”

Bishop Bryan asks for prayers and assistance identifying those who can help close the gap on the building project. To support the new Conference Center, send checks to Dr. Derek McAleer, Administrative Services, PO Box 13145, Macon, GA 31208. Click here to give online.