Thanks to everyone who has prayed for and contributed to our mission over the past six years, to bring an Orthodox presence to the area outside of Birmingham and into the suburbs of the metropolitan area, we have been able to purchase a building on the north side of Bessemer, in the historic McNeil Park neighborhood. As our social media posts have expressed, this quaint, mid-century church building had some major renovations begun by the previous owners, though in a state that the building was not immediately usable. In addition, some serious interior renovations are necessary to make the space appropriate for Orthodox Christian worship.
To that end, we have hired a contractor to handle the serious issues that have to be addressed, such as repairing the roof and brick exterior, replacing the windows, remodeling the interior of the worship space (creating a proper narthex, nave, and altar area), restroom renovations, kitchen renovations, and repairing the fellowship hall. These are the immediate needs that have to be addressed, so that we can move into the building and begin using it for services.
Additionally, the upstairs needs serious work. This was the space in most need of attention, where the previous owners’ renovations had begun but not been finished. At the present time, we do not have access to the funding to include this part of the project in the contractor’s renovations, and so we have decided to put them off for a later time, when we can, perhaps, finish them ourselves with volunteer labor — which we have already been blessed with many offers of help to do.
We conceive the project in 5 Phases:
-Phase 1: Interior demolition.
-Phase 2: Construction of new interior walls, insulation, windows, roof and facia repair, and finishing.
-Phase 3: Renovation of the restrooms, kitchen, and hall.
-Phase 4: Exterior repairs, new roof, and painting.
-Phase 5: Renovation of the upstairs.
Phases 1-4 will be done by the contractor. Phase 1 has already begun, and we hope that Phase 2 will begin very soon. God-willing, we should be able to move in by the end of 2nd quarter 2021.