Sacred Spaces Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a capital campaign?
The buildings where we gather for worship, education and community need repair and restoration totaling $1.9 million. That includes Sanctuary wall and window restoration, a new climate control system, roof replacement for the 1951 and 1971 buildings and new carpeting for the office and Sunday School wing.

Raising these funds in a three-year Campaign for Sacred Spaces will allow the people of First Church to continue our mission of being good neighbors to make Little Rock a place where all God’s children THRIVE without straining our operating funds vital to fulfilling that mission.

Didn’t we just refurbish the windows?
In 2013 and 2014, we refurbished the rose windows on the second floor and the "picture windows" on the first floor. The sets of three rectangular windows in each corner of the sanctuary and the windows in the stairwells were not redone at that time. Therefore, this project is a continuation of the window refurbishment started about 10 years ago.

Will we have to do this over and over or will this be the last time?
Care for our stained glass windows and sanctuary is an ongoing process. There have been updates and repairs several times since the sanctuary was rebuilt in 1899. After this project, the hope is with regular upkeep to sealant and paint, there won't be a need for repairs of this magnitude for several decades. However, consistent upkeep will require diligence and investment.

Why can't we borrow money and pay it off over time?
Monthly payments on principal and interest for a loan this size would be between $20,000 to $50,000 per month. This would be an overwhelming amount of our annual operating budget and would require a dramatic decrease in our ministry and staff. Raising funds through a capital campaign allows us to care for our historic building while continuing our vital mission and ministry.

Can we get some grants to fund this project?
Yes, we have a team of volunteers who have experience in historic preservation grants working on applications for both federal and state funds. However, these grants will not cover the full cost and applications are very competitive.

Why can’t we use our endowment funds for this?
FUMCLR has been blessed with wonderful endowments given by church leaders of the past. We receive about $100,000 to 120,000 each year from the income of these endowments. If we were to only use these funds, it would take us 10-20 years to pay for our current needs. We also have many other capital needs each year that require the use of these funds.

What will a new chiller/HVAC do for us?
Our current chiller is about 25 years old. This is long past industry standards for this kind of equipment. We currently pay about $20,000 each year for repairs and leaking freon. A new unit will save on repair costs and will be more efficient, cutting energy costs.

How much do we need to raise?
The goal is $1.9 million in pledges to be paid out over three years. The majority of the funds, $1.2 million, will fund Sanctuary wall and window repairs. The other funds will go for climate control chiller replacement, roof replacement on the 1951 and 1971 portions of the church buildings. and carpet replacement in the Sunday School wing and Main Office. Click here for details on the expenditures.

How long do I have to pay off my pledge? Can I give a one-time gift instead?
Most people will opt to pay off their pledges over three years, but a one-time gift is acceptable and appreciated.

How does a pledge to the Campaign for Sacred Spaces affect my annual operating funds pledge?
Gifts to the Campaign for Sacred Spaces are over and above the money you pledge for the church’s annual operating budget. So, your Sacred Spaces pledge will have no effect on the amount of your annual pledge.