The Richmond Register

Local News

October 17, 2013

First Christian dedicates new building Sunday

RICHMOND — Richmond’s First Christian Church will dedicate a new $3 million addition to its West Main Street building Sunday.

In addition to its two morning worship services, a special 2 p.m. dedication service is planned.

Dr. Paul Prather, a popular newspaper columnist and Mount Sterling pastor, will speak at the afternoon service.

A harpist will play in the new structure’s loggia, and a bagpiper will lead those who are able in a march from the sanctuary into the building. Trumpeters will herald the dedication, said Dr. Glenn Burkett, who was appointed First Christian’s interim senior minister almost a year ago.

The church is inviting the entire community and issuing a special invitation to former or inactive members to attend the dedication, he said.

Burkett was in his fourth year as chair of the church’s capital campaign when he accepted a two-year appointment as interim minister.

The building’s dedication comes after nearly four years of planning and fundraising followed by more than a year of construction. Fundraising continues as the church still owes about $2.2 million on the project, he said.

“We’re very fortunate that people have been very generous in their giving,” Burkett said.

Much of the giving has taken the form of memorials. For example, the two large crosses made of colored, faceted glass in the building’s facade, as well as a rose window and a grand piano that will sit in its loggia, were made possible by memorial donations. The crosses are illuminated at night.

The new, larger structure replaces one constructed in 1953. Going from one floor to the next in the old building required traversing at least 16 steps. It did not have central air conditioning, and the ceiling of one level was the floor of another, preventing the installation of ductwork. Asbestos also had been used in its construction, Burkett said.

In addition to better serving the congregation’s needs, the new building will be shared with the community in keeping with the church’s commitment to being an open, inclusive congregation that acts as an influence for good in the community, Burkett said.

The church has a history of community service, he said. Among other efforts, the church or members have played leading roles in the founding of Open Concern, Habitat for Humanity of Madison County, Saint Andrews Place and Hope’s Wings.

Construction of the building also represents a commitment to downtown Richmond, Burkett said.

As the congregation reflected on its future several years ago, it decided to retain its historic location at the corner of West Main Street and Lancaster Avenue, he said.

However, the expansion required the demolition of a home more than 120 years old. The Richmond Architecture review board approved the demolition of the Queen Anne-style house after it was found to be structurally unsound.

The new structure has recast the approach to downtown Richmond from the west in a manner which the church hopes will help breathe new life into the area, both symbolically and functionally.

The crosses in the building’s facade, impressive during the day, create an even more dramatic impression at night.

The initial impetus for the building was to enable the church to better serve families with children as well as the elderly and those challenged by mobility, Burkett said.

The building’s lower floor houses a nursery and church offices. The upper floor will include a children’s worship area and classrooms. Stained glass windows from the previous building are used in the classrooms.

A covered, drive-up entrance will allow access to the sanctuary from the new building without climbing steps. A drive-up entrance at the rear also will facilitate easy access to the basement and then other levels of the church by elevator.

The basement that adjoins the church’s old fellowship hall, in which sound and projection systems are installed, will serve as a banquet and meeting area that will be available for community use.

“We invite everyone to join us Sunday at 2 p.m. as we celebrate this new chapter in the life of our church and its community,” Burkett said.

Bill Robinson can be reached at

or at 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-27 HeartChase 1.jpg A race to the finish line

    Sheltered by overcast sky and supported by a cool breeze, teams competed Saturday morning in the second annual HeartChase at Richmond Centre.

    July 26, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-27 Hops 1.jpg Hops & Vine Festival raises money for humane society

    Downtown Richmond’s Hops and Vine Festival started more than two years ago with a question.

    July 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Bill Clinton will stump for Grimes in eastern Kentucky

    Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    Former President Bill Clinton will join Grimes on Aug. 6 for a campaign rally in eastern Kentucky, according to a campaign official who would provide no further details.

    July 26, 2014

  • 7-26 Stockyards 2.jpg Cattle farmers enjoying ‛perfect storm’

    Demand is up, and cattle are selling for record prices.

    At the same time, corn prices are down and fuel prices have stabilized.

    That adds up to a “perfect storm” for Kentucky cattle farmers, said Gary Kelly of Paint Lick as he ate lunch Friday with his brother Jimmy at the restaurant across from the Blue Grass Stockyards.

    July 26, 2014 5 Photos

  • 7-26 Fire Practice Structure 1.jpg Fire training tower going up

    A new training tower for the Richmond Fire Department is rising on Four Mile Road.

    Construction began Thursday on the four-story, steel-framed structure.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Pavement work to restrict I-75 in Rockcastle County

    Beginning Sunday until about the end of November, Interstate 75 in Rockcastle County will be reduced to one lane in each direction between mile points 58 and 66 for pavement work.

    July 26, 2014

  • Jailed woman charged with heroin trafficking

    A Richmond woman already jailed on another charge was served with a drug trafficking warrant Thursday.

    July 26, 2014

  • County’s jobless rate improves

    Madison County’s unemployment rate for June, 6.5 percent, was a full percentage point lower than a year earlier and 0.2 points lower than in May.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-25 William Gilbert.jpg Four arrested on meth charges at Berea motel

    Berea Police arrested four people Wednesday at the Knights Inn on Chestnut Street, including a man they said tried to conceal a meth lab on his person.

    July 24, 2014 5 Photos

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results