Michigan Church Gets New, Larger Sanctuary

Texas Corners Bible Church in Kalamazoo, MI, was established in 2001 with a congregation of 50 people. Since then, its following has grown to nearly 600.

At first, the church held double services to accommodate everyone, but Pastor David Thompson says the parishioners in the first service never got to meet the ones in the second service. So, they decided to start a building fund to add more space.

Over time, the fund grew to more than $800,000, and the congregation voted to move forward and build a new sanctuary. After determining the best size and aesthetics of the structure, the church’s building committee decided post frame building design would be the best route to go.

"They were very adamant about not wanting the church to look like a pole barn," Thompson says. "Several men on the committee were builders and businessmen who knew a great deal about building. They made the final recommendation to the board and, ultimately, the congregation."

If You Build It, They Will Come

The church hired DeLoof Construction Inc. to build its new sanctuary. Construction took 11 months — from Oct. 1, 2013, until Aug. 31, 2014 — and continued “through a very cold winter,” says Larry Loeks, vice president and treasurer of DeLoof.

To make progress through the coldest weather, Loeks says they used methods that included blanketing concrete walls and framing the building. The floor was installed after exterior temperatures rose. 

The new structure, which was built and designed using the most cutting-edge and most effective energy-savings solutions available, is wood with pitched roofs and large, open areas — typical of most post-frame construction. The frame was skinned with plywood and fiber cement lap siding. It has masonry split-face block on the base, which tied the new building to the old, which had split masonry on portions of the walls.

"The cost was very competitive, and the wood walls were easy to insulate to a larger R-value [a measure of thermal resistance],” Loeks says. Compared to the existing building, the energy cost per square foot in the new structure is now 50 percent less, he adds.

“The building utilizes radiant in-floor heating and strategic placement of insulation in the floors, walls and ceiling,” according to the project’s details on DeLoof’s website. “The roof trusses were designed and built to keep the attic space at optimum temperatures, preventing unwanted snow melt and ice damming in the cold months, and excessive heat buildup when the weather gets warm. These design elements work together to keep the building comfortable and efficient throughout the four seasons.”

Thanks to the appeal of its design and building execution, DeLoof Construction was honored with first place in the institutional category of the National Frame Building Association’s Building of the Year contest for 2014 for the Texas Corners Bible Church project. Post-Frame Advantage is an initiative of the National Frame Building Association.

More importantly, Thompson and his congregation are thrilled with the results.

“DeLoof Construction was the best,” he says. “If we build something again, we will use them again. They were very informative, systematic and professional. Their subcontractors were very kind and gracious when people like me would ask questions. We had many board meetings and many questions, and they were there to answer everything. After the structure was completed, their follow-up was impressive.”

Praising Together

The new space includes a new sanctuary and pulpit area, as well as a choir room, toddler and infant nurseries, cry room, bookstore/library, offices, restrooms, sound room and storage rooms.

“We have been in the new sanctuary since September 2014, and it still looks immaculate,” Thompson says. “In fact, one of the major funeral homes in the area says it is the finest church facility in Kalamazoo. It has held up very well.”

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