Since moving into our new building over 10 years ago, First Baptist Church has grown by leaps and bounds! Much of our growth would not be possible were it not for the ease, convenience, beauty and utility of our wonderful property. It’s easy to take for granted that lights work, the parking lot is safe, the grass is green and neatly trimmed, and the rooms carefully maintained. Most of us simply arrive at church, use it for ministry, service, fellowship or fun, and then go home. But just like your own home, things don’t just magically take care of themselves in our church building! This month we want to highlight the largely unsung and invisible army of people who take care of hundreds of details so that we can all use the facility in comfort.
The mastermind of the operation is Bob Kellar, who is head of our Property and Facilities Committee. Bob took over the leadership three years ago from previous leaders George Bauserman and Bob Riley. Bob Kellar describes the scope of the committee as being anything that adds, improves on, or repairs the church property. Joining him on the committee is Mike Antonovich, who serves as co-leader, Mike Bruhn, our able head custodian, Robert Liftin, Verne Person, Curtis Reynolds, Dennis Rogers, Sharon Salomon, and Jane Willett. Bob says the group meets quarterly, or as needed, and has been a great group to work with. In meetings there is lots of discussion over what needs to be done and the merits of various projects proposed, with many ideas and opinions going into each decision and plan. All are volunteers except Mike Bruhn, and allocation of jobs depends on people’s gifts and availability. On any given project, there are normally dozens more volunteers that get involved too!
Asked to describe some of our more recent projects, Bob listed:
• Fence enclosure for our vehicles to prevent theft/vandalism
• Church parking lot repair of cracks in asphalt
• Installation of Ben Goehring Memorial Fountain in front entry
• Installation of marquee signage on Mills Avenue with planters
• Entire exterior of church painted
• Construction of Spanish church office and restrooms
• East side landscaping
• Parking lot lighting improved
• New interior and exterior security system installed
• Overhead dimmable lighting in sanctuary installed
• Step lighting in sanctuary stadium seating (with Jerry Robinson)
• Removal of trees in parking lot beds and replanting
• Adding shelving and cabinetry to our church library
In addition to the property and facilities committee, several areas of property care are handled by individuals, many of whom coordinate their own teams of volunteers. Helen Sakai organizes the schedule for the parking lot patrol, which uses a donated golf cart to provide a safety presence in our parking lot during morning services. Paul Schreiner has taken over responsibility for all the flowerbeds from Levi Goehring who retired after many faithful years. Paul keeps them weed free and beautiful. John Carpenter leads a group of volunteers who do all of our lawn care, an immense and unending job which we enjoy the fruits of every week.
Imagine the money that FBC would need to allocate from our general fund if we had to hire people to do many or most of these jobs! Instead, we have that money to invest in making our facility more usable, as well as doing direct ministry both here in Lodi and other places around the world.
When asked what he liked best about doing this work, Bob Kellar said, “It’s satisfying to have such a beautiful and functional property, especially in comparison to our previous building on the Eastside. There is more to maintain, but it is such a valuable resource enabling us to reach out to our community and in missions.” Bob also loves the fact that as he serves alongside others, it binds them together like a family. Everyone works together to do what is needed, and everyone benefits too. He says, “There is so much value to serving, not just being an attender of a church, but really an integral part of the body.”
8:30am & 11:00am