A Campaign for Christ Church, Frederica
Rooted In Faith
When The Rev. Charles Wesley stepped onto St. Simons in 1736, none of the party that came ashore to establish Fort Frederica had an awareness of how their efforts would shape the future. It’s quite certain none of them knew that their Anglican chaplain and his brother would go on to shape the Christian Church itself. Although Charles Wesley’s preaching under the oaks at Frederica didn’t endure for long, his ministry planted seeds that still bear fruit today.
Ministry on St. Simons continued as others picked up the mantel for themselves, making sure that Word and Sacrament was available to the people who lived here. Various challenges and wars prevented the construction of a church for nearly 100 years, but after its 1808 Founding, Christ Church’s first building was constructed in 1820. The decades and generations of effort by the small Anglican population on St. Simons had birthed a congregation that continues its ministry over 200 years later.
Christ Church endured the challenges of the 19th Century, most notably its near destruction during the Civil War, as a result of the faithful vision and effort of her people. Clergy and lay leaders alike made sure the Anglican message of God’s love was shared. That meant that when Anson G.P. Dodge, II arrived on St. Simons in 1879 he found the congregation meeting in a home once again. Anson began his training for the priesthood that year with a vision to return and rebuild Christ Church, which he did, completing the construction in 1886, one year after his ordination. He also built St. Ignatius Church that same year, which would later become a chapel of Christ Church.
In the years since, The Rev. Anson Dodge’s vision has been affirmed over and over again as the congregation steadily grew along with the Island’s population. Much has transpired in those years. The Island’s people have endured a Depression, wars, hurricanes, and so much more, yet were always comforted and inspired by the ministry of Christ Church and her people. Physical growth has come in stages through various Parish House facilities and expansions. No one knows how today’s vision will shape the future, yet we still faithfully plant seeds and continue the work set in motion so many years ago.
A Growing Church
Christ Church’s historic sanctuary hasn’t changed much since 1886, yet little else has remained so static. St. Simons is a very different community as tourism and development reshape our quiet island. Thousands of persons now call this island “home.” From the days when Christ Church met in private residences, numbering its members in the dozens, we now have over 900 members with more than a third of those in attendance at services each week.
As Christ Church has grown in number and mission over the decades, the core of our ministry has always been centered on worship, particularly Anglican liturgical worship, and formation. It is from this steady stream of Word and Sacrament that we inspire worshipers to put their faith into action out in the world. The spiritual sustenance of Islanders in this regard has had a palpable effect.
In recent decades alone Christ Church parishioners have played leading roles in efforts like the creation of Glynn County’s Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) services, The International Seafarer’s Center in Brunswick, the creation of the St. Simons Land Trust, the Communities of Coastal Georgia Foundation, and many more. The impact Christ Church continues to have in the world is directly related to our ability to gather people for worship and formation. We help kids and adults deepen their faith to carry on our sacred mission.
Building for the Future: Why we need to build
This campaign is the first step in addressing the challenges we face with regard to our spaces and grounds: Increased traffic has meant it is more dangerous to park and walk to Christ Church; Our Sunday School offerings for kids and adults have outgrown our classrooms in number and size; Programs like Backpack Buddies don’t have adequate storage for the ministry we’re called to engage.
One Campaign in Three Parts
There are three components to the campaign: the 2020 Annual Campaign, a Capital Campaign, and the launch of the Dodge Society for Legacy gifts. All three enable the health and vitality of Christ Church and the fulfillment of our mission now, and for future generations. Each is a component of whole-life stewardship that responds faithfully to God’s call.
ANNUAL GIVING Annual giving invites gifts to fund the day-to-day mission and ministry of Christ Church. Funds support parish life, from administrative costs to Sunday School. We have history of increasing our annual giving as our ministry has expanded. It is vital that we do so again during this capital expansion so that our ministries continue to thrive.
CAPITAL GIVING When parish churches must expand their facilities to meet current needs and plan for the future, funding such projects is not done through annual giving. Capital campaigns invite additional gifts to help make such occasional expansions possible. Capital campaigns can also be used to grow endowments, buy property, or renovate older spaces. If we think of annual campaigns as the giving that helps churches “go,” capital giving is what lets us “grow.” Capital campaign giving is extraordinary giving and typically involves accessing funds beyond a person’s normal cash flow.
LEGACY GIVING Legacy giving is often our final act of stewardship. Such gifts are often conveyed through estate planning, wills, or other instruments at the end of our lives. Legacy gifts are the most selfless form of giving as we will not be around to enjoy the fruits of such gifts. Instead, we are helping ensure that the churches and institutions we love can fulfill their missions long after we are gone. Legacy gifts can be unrestricted or designated for specific purposes. The Dodge Society has been created to receive and recognize legacy gifts at Christ Church.
The capital portion of this campaign is Phase One of a larger Master Plan to address campus needs as our congregation grows so that we are properly situated to capitalize on opportunities for increased mission and ministry.
There are three main components of the campaign, each of which addresses strategic needs that Christ Church has identified.
1 . Frederica Road Shift - $450,000
Frederica Road will shift to the east/northeast between Stevens Rd. and the Wesley Memorial Garden. This will be accomplished through a land swap with Glynn County using land we own to the north of Frederica Road. Glynn County has received federal funding to cover 59% of the total cost of the project through a partnership with Christ Church and Fort Frederica. Christ Church is making up approximately $450,000 of the remaining cost. Shifting the road will give us the room we need to create a safe parking area, eliminating the need to park alongside or cross Frederica Road.
2. New Construction and Renovation - $4,270,000
We will create program and parish life space in Phase One through new construction in front of the existing Parish House. This space will house our Welcome Center, public restrooms, and staff offices. The space in the existing Parish House, unused after moving the offices, will be renovated, creating new space for youth and children’s programming and adult formation. Other rooms in the Parish House will be re-designated, giving each grade level a larger classroom and making additional space for adult formation and program storage. This figure also includes all the sitework for construction and parking as well as new furnishings. A small part of this component includes an outdoor prayer labyrinth to the north of Frederica Road, already gifted by parishioners.
3. Parking Lot Repairs at St. Ignatius - $80,000
While much of the Master Plan’s ideas for St. Ignatius have been deferred to a later phase, the parking lot requires immediate attention. The parking area will be re-graded to address drainage issues. Additional sitework will be done as needed to keep the areas around the parking lot looking presentable.
There are other costs associated with these projects, totaling $1,500,000, which covers professional fees for architecture, engineering, construction and project management, and fundraising consulting. In addition we estimate the cost to borrow money for this project at $900,000 over the course of the project.
Campaign Financial Summary
CAPITAL GIVING– The purpose of the capital campaign is to raise an additional $6 million, total over five years, to make Vestry-recommended $7.2 million-worth of physical improvements to the church campus. The Vestry has identified a number of options to retire the $1.2 million remaining after a successful capital campaign.
$ 450,000 Frederica Road Shift
$ 4,270,000 Construction and Renovation
- Parish House Renovation and New Admin Building
- Sitework at CCF including Parking
- Furnishings, Fixtures, Equipment
- Owner’s Contingency and Builder Risk
$ 80,000 St Ignatius Parking
$ 1,500,000 Professional Fees
- Design and Construction ($1.4m)
- Fundraising Counsel
$ 900,000 Cost to Borrow$ 7,200,000 TOTAL
LEGACY GIVING – The purpose of the Legacy Gift component is to identify and raise money for Christ Church, Frederica’s endowment.
The Dodge Society
We are inaugurating a legacy giving program at Christ Church named the Dodge Society. The Rev. Anson Dodge shared a vision with his first wife, Ellen Dodge, and a mission with his second wife, Anna Gould Dodge. Together, their shared vision for a church and its mission has provided a lasting legacy. Building and endowing churches like ours serves as a fitting example that all of us can strive to follow.
Anson likely learned about such stewardship through the example of his great-grandfather, Anson Green Phelps. The elder Anson left a sum of money to his grandchildren so that they could, “spread the gospel, and…promote the Redeemer’s kingdom on earth,” in the hope that his descendants would receive the gift as a “sacred deposit” with which they could be “faithful stewards…devoted to the same object.” Each of us is given the same opportunity to convey our blessings to future generations for the spread of God’s kingdom.
Anyone who communicates that he or she has made a legacy gift to Christ Church will become a member of the Dodge Society. Legacy gift pledges recorded before the end of 2021 will constitute founding members of the society and will always be recognized as such. The Dodge Society will offer periodic special events for members and recognition of members in perpetuity.
- WHO INITIATED AND PLANNED THIS CAMPAIGN?
- WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF THE CAMPAIGN?
- WHO WILL BE ASKED TO SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN?
- HOW LONG IS THE PLEDGE PERIOD?
- MAY I MAKE A CONTRIBUTION OTHER THAN CASH?
- HOW MUCH SHOULD I PLEDGE TO THE CAMPAIGN?
- MAY I MAKE A GIFT TO HONOR SOMEONE?
- WILL CHRIST CHURCH CONTINUE TO SOLICIT ANNUAL GIFTS TO SUPPORT THE OPERATIONS OF THE PARISH?
- WILL I BE NOTIFIED WHEN THE PAYMENTS ON MY PLEDGE ARE DUE?
Campaign Leadership Team
The Reverend Tom Purdy
Wallace Harrell - 2020
Alice Barlow - 2020
David Blatchford - 2022
Kelly Galland - 2020
Rip Graham - 2021
Chris Jordan - 2022
John Killgallon - 2020
Ellen Kuehm - 2021
Bascom Murrah - 2022
Tisa O’Cain - 2021
Christine Plank - 2022
Julianne Temple - 2021
Bonney Shuman / Treasurer
Mary Helen Moses / Secretary
Sinclair, Townes & Company
Field Guide for a Thriving Church