Bible Center Church

When Bible Center outgrew its existing campus, a 96 acre parcel was purchased for the multi-phased relocation of the worship services, administration, daycare, preschool, and private elementary school functions. Having selected such a picturesque, natural setting, the primary concept of the church leadership and design team was to develop a campus intimately connected to nature and reflective of the culture of West Virginia. A design solution was sought that could foster a welcoming spirit where people feel drawn, comfortable, and open to the message and ministries of the church while developing strong personal connections through fellowship.

Entry and way-finding is marked very strongly through the development of the lobby, or “Gathering Space” of Phase 1. The architectural detailing of this space, as well as its entrance canopy, works to establish the posture of the building’s character and convey the ministry attitude of Bible Center. In addition to pre and post service fellowship functions, the Gathering Space is open throughout the week where people are encouraged to meet, relax, and have a cup of coffee. The two-story fireplace and scripture engraved mantle, along with the richly textured fabrics, stonework, slate, and wood trim presents a comfortable, iconic image connecting with users at a familiar and personal level.

In developing great worship venues for all ages, the upper floor of the building houses six large adult classrooms, similarly detailed with many elevated views to the site. The lower level of Phase 1 is focused on the nursery and children’s ministries and is anchored by the Children’s Theatre, a heavily themed 180 seat worship space detailed with a woodland shed stage, indoor trees, and camp-style light strings. The finishes of the children’s spaces are playful and vibrant while maintaining a connection to the earthy tones of the design concept.

In embracing a non-traditional solution to meet the complex needs of this vibrant congregation, the church and design team pursued an architecturally and culturally relevant design to speak to the hearts of past, present, and future members of the church and the Charleston community. It is the first step in a bold venture for the thriving ministries of Bible Center Church.

The project was a design collaboration with CDH Partners, a national leader in church planning and design based out of Marietta, Georgia.

Recognition

2009 AIAWV Merit Award for Achievement in Architecture

Client

Bible Center Church

Location

Charleston, WV

Size

60,000 gsf

Scope

New Construction

Category

Indigenous Design, Worship